Union Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu on Wednesday offered to resign from his post following two consecutive train accidents in less than a week. Prabhu said he takes full responsibility of the unfortunate incidents, and had informed Prime Minister Narendra Modi of his decision. “Honourable prime minister has asked me to wait,” he said on Twitter.
Prabhu offered to resign hours after 10 coaches of the Kaifiyat Express had derailed near Suraiya in Uttar Pradesh injuring at least 74 people. On August 19, the Utkal Express heading to Haridwar from Puri went off tracks. At least 24 passengers were killed and more than 150 were injured.
Prabhu said he was “extremely pained” by both the events and the loss of precious lives. “It has caused me deep anguish,” he said on Twitter. The minister said he had devoted his “blood and sweat for the betterment of the Railways”.
He further said he had tried to introduce systemic reforms in all areas, which had led to unprecedented investment in the sector. “New India envisioned by PM Modi deserves a Railways which is efficient and modern. I promise that is the path on which Railways is progressing now,” he added.
Earlier in the day, Railway Board Chairman AK Mittal was also reported to have resigned. However, Prabhu is believed to have not accepted his offer yet.
Mittal had been sent on leave on Sunday after the investigations in the Utkal Express derailment began. Prima facie evidence had showed negligence on the part of maintenance staff as the reason for the accident.