New Delhi, Mar 20 (ANI): Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader Mukul Roy was sworn-in as the Railway Minister of the country on Tuesday.
President Pratibha Devisingh Patil administered the oath of office and secrecy to Roy in the presence of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, TMC chief Mamata Banerjee and other cabinet ministers.
Most of Trinamool Congress MPS were also present at the Rashtrapati Bhavan to witness the ceremony.
Roy, who was the Minister of State for Shipping, is a close aide of TMC chief Mamata Banerjee and is said to have been her first choice last year for the important Railway berth that she had vacated when she took over as West Bengal Chief Minister last May.
Roy's predecessor Dinesh Trivedi has been lauded by the Prime Minister, Cabinet colleagues and industry for his bold Budget, in which he announced an increase in train passenger fares, the first in nine years.
It was that move that also cost him his job. So upset was his party chief, that she first demanded his removal from the Cabinet and then forced him to resign.
Last week, Banerjee announced Roy's name as Trivedi's replacement, much before the latter had put in his papers.
However, the row over Trivedi exposed emerging differences and perceived erosion of ties between the Congress and its ally TMC.
For the past few months, the TMC has kept the Congress on tenterhooks on various issues of national and state concern, such as the price rise, allowing foreign direct investment in multi-brand retail, the issue of establishing the NCTC, and Mamata Banerjee's decision to skip the Prime Minister's visit to Bangladesh last year. (ANI)
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