Railway minister Pawan Kumar Bansal on Saturday met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh after the arrest of his nephew by the CBI on Friday night in a case of bribery for allegedly fixing a top level position in railway board. Bansal drove down to the Prime Minister's official residence and was closeted with him for about 20 minutes. A sullen looking Bansal drove away from the Prime Minister's
residence without speaking to reporters.
According to media reports, Bansal offered his resignation to the Prime Minister over the issue. The opposition parties have sought Bansal's resignation in the matter.
However, Congress today brushed aside demands for Bansal's resignation saying it has become a "disease" of the Opposition to make such
"For those who are demanding resignation, it has become a disease," Congress General Secretary and head of media department Janardan Dwivedi told reporters.
He said Bansal has himself given a clarification demanding probe in the wake of the arrest of his nephew for allegedly fixing top level promotions in the Railway Board.
"The Railway Minister himself has given a clarification and said that there should be a thorough probe into the matter. I don't think we can expect any thing more from him," Dwivedi said in a brief reaction to the developments surrounding Bansal.
BJP has demanded the sacking of the railway minister and CBI prosecution against him with party leader Ravi Shankar Prasad saying that seeking pecuniary advantage by someone close to the Railway minister and abusing the authority of the minister is a "copybook case" of prosecution of Bansal. CPI(M)
also has demanded his resignation.
The minister's nephew V Singla was yesterday arrested by the CBI in connection with alleged bribery of Rs. 90 lakh for fixing a top level position in the government.
Bansal, however, has distanced himself from his nephew, saying he had no business links with him and denied any wrongdoing.
(with PTI inputs)