Railway minister Pawan Kumar Bansal had migrated from his native town of Tapa Mandi in Barnala district to Chandigarh when the family's textile business failed following the death of his father in 1974. Coming from a Congress background-his father Pyara Lal Aggarwal remained the president of the Tapa Mandi municipal committee for several years-Bansal was appointed as the general secretary of the Chandigarh Youth Congress in 1976.
Bansal's cousin Mithan Lal Bansal, who is still based in Tapa, owns a petrol pump and a gas agency. Bansal's family had sold their ancestral house to Mithan a few years ago.
While Mithan and his family members did not entertain the media, sources close to them said Bansal had visited the family at least four times after shifting to Chandigarh. He had visited Tapa after becoming the railway minister on December 16, 2012.
Bansal had allocated Rs 15 crore for Sangrur district in the railway budget. He had announced a new train and the electrification of three rail lines in the district, besides model railway station status for Sunam. He, however, made no major announcement for Barnala district, including his hometown Tapa.
By virtue of his father's influence, who was president of the Tapa Mandi civic body for several years, Bansal was appointed as Chandigarh Youth Congress general secy in 1976.