Raju and his party fellow Telugu Desam Party (TDP) leader YS Chowdary quit the Modi cabinet following their party chief announced his decision to leave the National Democratic Alliance government over their ultimatum that Andhra Pradesh is provided Special Category Status.
Union Minister for Commerce and Industry, Suresh Prabhu has been assigned additional charge of civil aviation ministry, Rashtrapati Bhawan confirmed. However, the TDP is yet to quit the NDA completely. "It is a very unfortunate development and we will take it up bilaterally with all the countries", says Commerce Minister Suresh Prabhu.
TDP, which is the ruling party in Andhra, had sought special category status for the state in order to receive sops and tax concessions. In the cabinet reshuffle previous year, he was accorded the charge of Commerce and Industry, whereas, Railways was assigned to Piyush Goyal.
Prabhu, 64, was inducted into Narendra Modi's Ministry in 2015, after he switched over from Shiv Sena to the BJP. "Further, as advised by the Prime Minister, The President has directed that the work of the Ministry of Civil Aviation will be looked after by the Prime Minister".
Following the Prabhu resign, Piyush Goyal was appointed as the Railways Minister.
As per the other developments with national air carrier is concerned, Air India is expected to start a direct thrice-a-weekly flight from Delhi - Tel Aviv from March 22, 2018.