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Meet Mukul Roy, the new Railway Minister

Last updated on: March 19, 2012 12:49 IST

Meet Mukul Roy, the new Railway Minister

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All eyes are now on the low profile Mukul Roy, Trinamool Congress general secretary and Minister of State for Shipping.

Former Railway Minister Dinesh Trivedi resigned on Sunday on TMC supremo and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's directive.

Banerjee was miffed over Trivedi's move to hike railway fares while he presented the Railway Budget in the Parliament on March 14.

Banerjee offered Roy's name as the new Railway Minister.

In this slide show, we put together a few details about Roy, who is set to replace Trivedi.

Read on. . .

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Union Budget 2012-13: Complete coverage

Image: Mamata Banerjee and Mukul Roy (extreme right).


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Meet Mukul Roy, the new Railway Minister

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A man of all seasons

A party general secretary, 57-year-old Roy is the only Trinamool minister from the Rajya Sabha.

Roy has been a member of the Upper House since 2006.

He has been a Minister of State for Shipping since mid-2009.

He got the post for his 'unflinching' loyalty to Mamata Banerjee since the birth of Trinamool Congress in 1998.
Roy is an extremely important person in his party as he built the TMC from scratch.

He has been instrumental in keeping the party spirits high despite a series of poor electoral performances between 2001 and 2006.

He is known to be not particularly fond of Trivedi.

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Union Budget 2012-13: Complete coverage



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Meet Mukul Roy, the new Railway Minister

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Roy's antecedents

Roy was born on April 17, 1954 to Late Jugal Nath Roy and Rekha Roy at Kanchrapara, North 24-Parganas in West Bengal.

A science graduate, Roy is married to Krishna and their only offspring Subhrangshu is a member of the West Bengal Assembly.

He is an avid fan of soccer giant Mohun Bagan.

Roy has also been a non-executive director for the United Bank of India.

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Union Budget 2012-13: Complete coverage



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Meet Mukul Roy, the new Railway Minister

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Roy and the Railways

When Mamata Banerjee resigned as the Railway Minister prior to becoming the Chief Minister of West Bengal in May 2011, Roy was handed additional charge of the Railway Ministry.

In fact, Banerjee personally recommended Roy to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

Roy served as a Minister of State in the Railway Ministry with Manmohan Singh serving as the Cabinet Minister (pro tem) till July 11, 2011.

On July 11, Roy defied Prime Minister's directive.

The Kalka mail headed to Delhi derailed at Fatehpur, killing 69 people.

Then several coaches of the Guwahati-Puri train exploded after militants planted an IED device on the tracks in lower Assam and over 100 people were injured. Mukul Roy was missing in action.

When the Prime Minister asked him to visit the site of the Guwahati-Puri train derailment, he openly defied him.

He stayed put in Kolkata, saying "There is no need for me to go to the accident site now. I am not the railways minister.

The prime minister is. I am only one of three Ministers of State."

This brought a lot of displeasure among the political circles and he was shunted out of the Railways during a Cabinet reshuffle on July 12.

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Union Budget 2012-13: Complete coverage

Image: People watch as rescue personnel search the mangled carriages of the Kalka Mail train which derailed near Fatehpur.
Photographs: Jitendra Prakash/Reuters

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Why is he termed 'tainted'?

Roy is known as 'an important fund collector' for the party.

His way of pooling in money from Kolkata Port Trust and its surrounding areas has often been questioned.

It is alleged that he extorts money from the residents of port area through 'unfair' means.

Roy's son Subhrangshu, TMC's candidate from Bijpur Assembly constituency in North 24-Parganas, was arrested from Gayeshpur in Nadia district in April last year for assaulting some officials on election duty, including assistant returning officer Siddhartha Shankar Mukherjee.

He absconded following the incident but was held after being spotted sharing stage with party chief Mamata Banerjee at a public meeting.

The Election Commission had earlier ordered the suspension of Parthapratim Roy, inspector in-charge of Bijpur police station, after he failed to arrest Subhrangshu.

Subhrangshu later got bail.

Union Budget 2012-13: Complete coverage

Image: Trinamool supporters. (Inset) Subhrangshu Roy.


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