Piyush Goyal, Union minister of railways and coal: Government’s all-rounderUpdated: Sep 26, 2018 14:40 IST
Few leaders have been entrusted with the range of responsibilities in the National Democratic Alliance government as Piyush Goyal. When the Bharatiya Janata Party came to power, Goyal was already one of its visible faces – with a public profile because of his sharp television interventions. He was also a key backroom strategist who played a role in resource mobilisation as party treasurer in the run up to the 2014 election. But it is in government that Goyal’s skills and professionalism have come to light.
As minister of power in the early years, he was responsible for the flagship initiative of electrifying India’s villages – a scheme that has now been expanded to electrifying each household. As minister of coal, he brought about a shift towards transparency in the way coal policy was framed in the country. After a series of rail accidents, Goyal was brought in as a cabinet minister in charge of railways. He has, in a short period, improved safety standards, though challenges on modernisation, finances and punctuality persist. With Arun Jaitley taking time off to recover from an illness, the Prime Minister turned to Goyal to temporarily run the all-important finance ministry.
In the run-up to 2019, Goyal can be expected to be increasingly mobilised for party work, along with his mandate to keep India’s rail transport safe and functional.
First Published: Sep 26, 2018 13:48 IST