New Delhi: Mallikarjun Kharge on Monday became the sixth Railway Minister in four years as Rail Bhavan appears to have become jinxed in the UPA-II.
Three ministers each from TMC and Congress have assumed charge of the ministry during the past four years of UPA-II.
When UPA-II assumed power in May 2009, Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee became the Railway Minister. She resigned two years later to become West Bengal Chief Minister.
Dinesh Trivedi, her party colleague, succeeded her in Rail Bhavan but was forced to quit by the TMC supremo in less than a year after he proposed hike in passenger fares in last year`s Railway Budget.
In fact, his exit was so hasty that he was not able to see the passage of the Railway Budget which he presented in Lok Sabha in March 2012.
His position was taken by Mamata loyalist Mukul Roy but he too remained in the post only for about six months as his party withdrew from the government protesting against allowing FDI in retail.
The crucial infrastructure portfolio then went to Road and Transport Minister C P Joshi for a brief period of five weeks before it was finally given to Pawan Kumar Bansal.
Bansal became the first Congress leader in 17 years to get the ministry.
However, Bansal was unceremoniously ousted from Rail Bhavan last month after his nephew was caught by CBI allegedly accepting a bribe of Rs 90 lakh to get a senior Railway official a plum posting.
Joshi was again given the additional charge of Railways for 35 days before Kharge got the formal responsibility of running the national transporter.