It took almost six months of pulls and pressures to decide on the Railway Board Chairman. Acting Chairman Arunendra Kumar eventually won the race.
Railway Minister Mallikarjun Kharge signed the order regularising Mr. Kumar on Wednesday, four days after he received the file from the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC).
The ACC had turned down Mr. Kharge’s proposal favouring South Western Railway General Manager A.K. Mittal who, he said, fulfilled the criterion laid down in 2003 that only a zonal general manager with a two-year residual term could be considered for the post.
Intense politicking among the top brass of the Railways was such that almost all of them were eliminated from the race.
The Central Vigilance Commission later cleared the names of Mr. Kumar, who has been serving as acting Chairman after the retirement of Vinay Mittal on June 30, and Northern Railway general manager V.K.Gupta, in addition to those of Mr. A.K. Mittal and Kolkata Metro general manager Radhey Shyam which it had approved.
Mr. Kumar would continue to hold additional charge as Member Mechanical until an appointment is made to fill the vacancy.
The posts of Member Staff and Member Finance have also been lying vacant for several months now. The post of Member Staff fell vacant following the arrest of Mahesh Kumar in a bribery case being probed by the CBI.
As many as nine posts of General Manager too are yet to be filled.