New Delhi: Dinesh Trivedi, a trained pilot now in charge of the vast Indian railway network, is an articulate, suave and widely travelled politician who has, for long, been Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee's point man in New Delhi.
Known for filing public interest petitions, Trivedi reportedly offered to resign a couple of months ago as Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare in support of social activist Anna Hazare and his movement against corruption.
The 61-year-old has played a crucial role in maintaining the Trinamool's liaison with national political leaders.
Trivedi was rewarded by Banerjee for his hard work during Trinamool's difficult times by fielding him in the 2009 Lok Sabha election from Barrackpore.
After he emerged victorious, Trivedi was inducted as Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare in Dr Manmohan Singh's cabinet.
The elevation to cabinet rank in the plum Railways Ministry on Tuesday, succeeding party chief Banerjee, is another feather in the cap for Trivedi, an MBA and trained commercial pilot.
A former Congress man who switched over to the VP Singh-led Janata Dal, he entered Parliament as a Rajya Sabha member in 1990 and remained there till 2008.
A commerce graduate from Kolkata's famed St. Xavier's College and armed with an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin, Trivedi was in the travel business before he joined politics.
He will now be at the helm of affairs in the Railways Ministry, which operates the second largest railway network in the world under a single management.
The appointment comes two days after a train derailment in Uttar Pradesh that left nearly 70 people dead. The same day, a bombing on the tracks derailed another train in Assam.
Trivedi steps into a ministry the top post of which has been vacant since Mamata Banerjee quit in May to become West Bengal's first woman Chief Minister.