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HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, May 10, 2013
Congress general secretary Digvijaya Singh aggressively defended railway minister Pawan Bansal on Thursday. But he may end up being the latest collateral damage in the ‘cash-for-post’ scam. Singh wants a special coach in a New Delhi-Indore express to accommodate a group of passengers close to him for a family function. After speaking to Bansal, he also sent a formal application last week, before the scam broke out.

While the minister had assured his party colleague that arrangements would be made on commercial basis, rail officials are now pointing out at the rule book to find loopholes in the application process.

Under the changed atmosphere in the Rail Bhawan, as officials are insisting on adherence of all rules, Bansal’s aides are struggling to avoid embarrassment for their boss and huge inconvenience for the former Madhya Pradesh CM. Top officers in the traffic department of the railways were repeatedly requested on Thursday to ensure that an air-conditioned coach is attached to the train, which, otherwise, is an almost routine matter for the zonal railways. Singh’s aide Kumud also rushed to Rail Bhavan to ensure the booking request is not denied.