The return of Congress veteran CP Joshi in Rail Bhawan on Saturday set a new record in frequency of shuffling in railway ministers.
Joshi became the sixth railway minister in four years of the second UPA government and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh surpassed the record of Indira Gandhi who had rolled six railway ministry heads in as many years after she became Prime Minister in 1967.
The topsy-turvy ride in the railway ministry, considered the most high-profile infrastructure portfolio, also included Singh himself holding its temporary charge for two months in 2011.Gandhi had to battle dissidence within her party after she rose to the top and the changes she made reflected her style of political management. But for Singh — who is the longest serving PM from the Congress outside the Nehru-Gandhi family — the ministry has fallen victim to coalition compulsions and corruption charges.
At the inception of the second UPA, then biggest ally of the Congress, Trinamool Congress kept the portfolio for more than three years. Sources suggest Joshi may retain his chair for the rest of this government’s tenure.