Even as government circles were abuzz over whether Cabinet Secretary K M Chandrasekhar would get another extension, a parallel succession drama was being played out in the Railways Ministry over who would succeed outgoing Railway Board Chairman S S Khurana. This side show is still not over.
Despite Railway Board’s Member Traffic Vivek Sahai having remained a frontrunner, doubts are now being raised over his candidature with reports of him having fallen out of favour with Railways Minister Mamata Banerjee doing the rounds. But those batting for Sahai were quick to point out that his elevation from the post of Northern Railway’s General Manager to Member Traffic, by getting the then Member Traffic Sri Prakash to make a voluntary exit from service just 20 days before his retirement, was meant to ensure that Sahai was in line for the top job.
But insiders believe things are not going according to script as other eligible members have started lobbying. Meanwhile, Khurana, who led a team of senior officials to West Bengal following last week’s train crash, failed to get an audience with Mamata before demitting office.
As per sources, Khurana kept trying to meet Mamata till the last minute, but she was too occupied with the accident and the preparations for the West Bengal civic elections. So she chose not to meet any of the railway officials who had flown in from Delhi.