For Mukul Roy, it's Didi over inaugural scissors any day | delhi | Hindustan Times
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For Mukul Roy, it's Didi over inaugural scissors any day

delhi Updated: Aug 20, 2012 00:16 IST
Srinand Jha
Srinand Jha
Hindustan Times
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With the exception of one, all railway projects inaugurated during Mukul Roy's four-month tenure as railway minister have been in his home state, Bengal.

While Roy was present at the inaugural functions, party chief and West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee was mostly the one who held the honour of laying foundation stones or flagging off trains. This is at odds with the Centre's warrant of precedence, which clearly states that within the jurisdiction of a state, the chief minister only holds a rank equalling that of a Union cabinet minister.

Arjun Munda of Jharkhand is the only other chief minister to have had the honour of being the master of ceremonies at inaugural functions of rail projects. On May 6, Munda laid the foundation stone for a new broad gauge line between Godda and Hansdiha. The railway minister was not present.

As far as railway projects in Bengal are concerned, Roy has played a supporting role at all but one of the inaugural functions.

According to a newspaper ad put up by the Eastern Railways, Banerjee inaugurated the Barddhaman-Balgona section (after conversion from narrow gauge to broad gauge) and introduced train services in the section on July 28. A day earlier, she had inaugurated the Gitanjali museum, constructed by the railway ministry at the Bolpur Dakbanglo ground.

On April 19, the chief minister commissioned the Barasat-Sondalia double line and laid the foundation stone for a computerised passenger reservation system at Kachuadham. On May 28, Banerjee had inaugurated the diesel locomotive component factory and declared commencement of work at the electric component factory in Dankuni.

However, it is not as if the Trinamool Congress hasn't made allowances for its favourite son — advertisements put out by the Eastern Railway do make a specific mention of the rail projects being inaugurated in the "august presence of the railway minister".