Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar said in Patna on Monday it was railway minister Pawan Kumar Bansal's personal call if he should resign in the wake of his nephew's arrest last week in corruption case related to his ministry.
"The incident has caused damage to the system and shaken people's faith. But Bansal has to find it in himself if he should put in his papers", Kumar said while responding to media queries on the sidelines of his janata darbar.
Kumar's position in the matter appeared to be at variance with the stand of his NDA ally, the BJP, which has been vociferous in its demand for Bansal's resignation.
Asked about his party colleague and JD (U) president Sharad Yadav's recent statement in support of Bansal, Kumar said it was Yadav's personal opinion. "We have not spoken to each other on this subject", he said.
Backing Bansal, Yadav, who is also NDA convenor, had said: "If any relative of a political leader is involved in corruption, then what is the fault of that leader? I have known Pawan Bansal for a long time. He has been in Parliament for a long time. What has he to do with anything if his nephew is taking bribe."
Bansal's nephew Vijay Singla was arrested last week by the CBI for allegedly accepting a bribe of Rs.90 lakh for getting a senior railway officer, Mahesh Kumar, appointed to his choice post.
On his arch rival, RJD leader Lalu Prasad's proposed 'parivartan rally' in Patna on May 15, the chief minister said: "The only change will be the baton of the party will now pass on to his sons - Tejashwi and Tej Pratap (T2)."
Asked about Prasad's injury last week when the windshield of his SUV broke, Kumar said, "as a matter of practice, anyone on the front seat should always wear seat belts, as mandated by traffic rules."