In what was her last function as Union Railway Minister, Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday thanked every member of the “railway family” for the “support and cooperation” extended to her in the last two years, and promised her successor all possible help for the all-round development of the Railways.
With Ms. Banerjee all set to become the next Chief Minister of West Bengal, the cabinet berth for Railways will most probably be handed over to a Trinamool Congress nominee. Party MP and Minister of State for Shipping Mukul Roy is being touted as the frontrunner for the post.
Pointing out that both the State government and the Railways Ministry will henceforth be overseen by the Trinamool, Ms. Banerjee asserted that both will “make giant strides towards development simultaneously.”
“The Railways and the West Bengal government are now linked to each other and will remarkable progress by working together. I will extend a helping hand to my colleague and successor for the development of the Railways alongside running the State government,” she said at the Howrah station near here, where she flagged off seven trains and laid the foundation stone for a host of new railway projects.
Claiming that the ‘Vision 2020' she prepared for the Railways was enough to keep it on the development track for the next 20 years, Ms. Banerjee said her successor would work on the lines of the same vision.
Taking a dig at her political detractors, she said any challenge could be overcome with “constant persuasion and taking people into confidence” rather than indulging in criticism.
She said the funds required for implementing all the projects announced by her in the last two years had already been sanctioned.