iconimg Monday, August 31, 2015

Monica Sharma, Hindustan Times
Chandigarh, May 06, 2013
The two-kanal house of railway minister and local member of Parliament, Pawan Kumar Bansal, in Sector 28 wore a deserted look on Monday as the family shifted its base to New Delhi, apparently to avoid media glare and to be with the minister in the hour of crisis.
A day after the Bansal's nephew Vijay Singla was nabbed while accepting Rs. 90 lakh bribe at a Sector 28 showroom on Friday night, minister's sons Manish and Amit were present at the Sector 28 house. Manish interacted with the local Congress leaders, who kept visiting the family throughout the day on Saturday. Both Manish and Amit were visibly tense and kept shuffling through news channels on their TV sets, according to local Congress leaders.

On Sunday, Manish and Amit, along with their wives, Shaina and Monica, respectively, left for Delhi as there were hints that Bansal's political adversaries could highlight the rise of minister's sons as businessmen in a span of 10 years.

The barricades near the house were also removed after the imposition of Section 144 in the area.

Normally, weekends are generally busy for the Bansal family as the railway minister makes it a point to visit his constituency and hold public meetings.

However, Bansal preferred to stay in Delhi in the past week as he was busy holding meetings with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress chief Sonia Gandhi to clarify his position.
Last week, Bansal had met villagers of his constituency and listened to their problems. He was also attending residents' welfare association functions in wake of coming parliamentary elections in 2014.

Minister skips public functions
Last week at least five programmes had been listed where the railway minister was scheduled to be the chief guest. The programmes were held as per schedule even though the minister did not turn up. Bansal was to induct AS Gujral into the Congress at a function scheduled to be held on Saturday at Congress Bhawan in Sector 35. Gujral had left the party and contested against the official Congress candidate in the 2011 corporation elections. A public meeting of the minister with colony dwellers was also planned at Sector 56 in Kajheri on Sunday. The programme was held as per schedule and was attended by local Congress leaders. Bansal was scheduled to attend two other functions in Sectors 10 and 24, which he didn't.

Kin come first
Not only election management is looked after by railway minister Pawan Kumar Bansal's close relatives, his official work too is handled by kin.

The officer on special duty (OSD), Vitul Kumar, attached with the minister is one of his close relatives - the son-in-law of Bansal's uncle. The 1993-batch IPS officer of Uttar Pradesh cadre was posted with Bansal in 2011.Vitul earlier held the charge of Passport Officer (RPO) in Chandigarh. In 2009, Bansal, while holding the charge of union minister for parliamentary affairs, had got appointed Vitul's elder brother Jagdeep Goyal as his OSD. Goyal is a 1989-batch officer of the Indian Revenue Service.