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HindustanTimes Sat,27 Dec 2014

I am not associated with the bribery case: Bansal

PTI  Chandigarh, May 12, 2013
First Published: 14:13 IST(12/5/2013) | Last Updated: 19:45 IST(12/5/2013)

Maintaining that he was innocent, beleaguered former railway minister Pawan Kumar Bansal, who was forced to resign in the wake of arrest of his nephew on bribery charge, today said "nothing will come out from this case".

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"I am not associated with the case. I assure you (party workers) that nothing will come out from this case," the Congress leader, who is now back home rallying support apparently with an eye on next Lok Sabha elections, said at a meeting with local party leaders at his private residence in Chandigarh.

"Only I can say is that I am innocent," he said while seeking support of party workers.

"I repeatedly maintain that I am innocent," he told reporters during the meeting.

Bansal, who returned to his home town on Saturday night for the first time after the arrest of his nephew Vijay Singla for allegedly accepting Rs. 90 lakh in bribe from a railway board official to fix a plum post for him, convened a meeting of local party level office bearers and activists here.

The move was seen as attempt to show that he still "enjoys party's support and command".

Bansal will chalk out a political strategy for the upcoming Lok Sabha polls with party workers on Sunday, party insiders said.

Welcoming the CBI investigations into the alleged bribery case, Bansal said that "I have nothing to do with the case."

When his attention was drawn towards BJP's allegations about his family's involvement in the case, a furious Bansal retorted, "It appears I will have to separately explain the definition of family to each one of you (media persons)."

"I have faith in the CBI probe. I don't want to make any comment on the issue, but I have nothing to do with the case," he maintained.

Meanwhile, former MP Satya Pal Jain, a bete noire of Bansal, said that "let him (Bansal) open up."

"I will take him head on. I am in the process of collecting more documents against his family and their firms," he said.

Bansal, an MP from the city, is not new to controversies. He and Ambika Soni, who were members of Heritage Education Society, had courted controversy in 2002 over allocation of land for the society to set up a school.

Bansal's "strong differences" with former UT administrator and Punjab governor Gen (retd) SF Rodrigues had also hogged limelight in 2008 amd were blamed for crapping of several projects of Chandigarh, including Medicity, Amusement-cum-Theme Park and Filmcity.

Bansal, along with his wife Madhu and two sons, reached their home in an SUV without a red beacon last night. Bansal's nephew Vijay Singla was arrested May 3 for allegedly accepting Rs. 90 lakh as bribe for helping in the promotion of a Railway Board Member Mahesh Kumar.

In his resignation letter, Bansal had maintained that he was not aware that Singla was in contact with Kumar but he still thought it proper to step down.


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