Railway minister Suresh Prabhu offers to resign after back to back accidents, says PM ‘asked me to wait’
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Railway minister Suresh Prabhu offers to resign after back to back accidents, says PM ‘asked me to wait’

Railway minister Suresh Prabhu said he ‘takes full moral responsibility’ for a string of train accidents including Kaifiyat Express on Wednesday morning.

india Updated: Aug 23, 2017 16:33 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
‪Suresh Prabhu‬,‪Minister of Railways of India‬,‪Narendra Modi‬‬
File photo of railways minister Suresh Prabhu.(HT Photo)

Union railway minister Suresh Prabhu hinted on Wednesday that he had offered to quit after taking responsibility for a string of train accidents, the most serious of which killed more than 20 people last week.

“I am extremely pained by the unfortunate accidents, injuries to passengers and loss of precious lives. It has caused me deep anguish... I met the Hon’ble Prime Minister @narendramodi taking full moral responsibility,” he tweeted in the afternoon.

“Hon’ble PM has asked me to wait.”

Prabhu’s statement came within hours of another senior railway officer, the chairman of the Railway Board AK Mittal, having ostensibly put in his papers, according to sources in the ministry.

Early on Wednesday, the Kaifiyat Express derailed after it hit a dumper truck stuck on the tracks in Uttar Pradesh. Around 70 people were injured.

On Saturday, the Utkal Express jumped tracks and several of its bodies smashed into each others, killing 23 people. The accident was apparently caused by negligence of railway staffers, who, preliminary investigations showed, cut a track for maintenance despite not obtaining clearance. The track eventually split as the train arrived.

“New India envisioned by PM deserves a Railways which is efficient and modern. I promise that is the path, on which Railways is progressing now,” tweeted the minister.

Prabhu said he had tried to overcome “decades of neglect through systemic reforms in all areas leading to unprecedented investment and milestones”.

He said in less than three years as minister, “I have devoted my blood and sweat for the betterment of the Railways”.

A chartered accountant, 64-year-old Prabhu -- formerly in the Shiv Sena -- joined the BJP in May 2014 before he was inducted into the cabinet as the railways minister.

First Published: Aug 23, 2017 15:05 IST