A day after the CBI arrested railway minister Pawan Kumar Bansal’s nephew for accepting Rs 90 lakh in bribe for fixing a top level position in the government, the railway minister has claimed ignorance in the matter and denied knowing anything about his nephew's arrest.
Distancing himself from his nephew's arrest, Bansal said, "I have no knowledge of the matter. I have always followed utmost probity in public life.I have no business relations with my nephew nor any financial transactions with him," Bansal clarified today.
Bansal also expects an expeditious CBI inquiry into the matter.
Meanwhile, political parties have asked Bansal to resign.
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Ram Asrey Kushwaha said the Railway Minister must resign on moral grounds. "PM and Sonia need to realise that it is the Railway Minister's relative who has been arrested with Rs 90 lakh. We want them to remove the corrupt ministers in the government and Pawan Bansal must resign on moral grounds," said Kushwaha.
Former railway minister Dinesh Trivedi today also stressed that Bansal should explain his position in the bribery case.
In an interview with CNN-IBN, Diniesh Trivedi claimed that it is a "sad day for Indian Railways," and that "The system is rotten and without corruption it is hard to get promotion."
When asked whether the minister should step down from his post, he said, "Leave it to Pawan Kumar Bansal's conscience if he wants to continue."
Bansal's nephew V Singla was arrested in Chandigarh for accepting the money from Manjunath, an alleged middleman for railway board member (staff) Mahesh Kumar, who was seeking “a lucrative posting”.
Mahesh Kumar was made the Railway Board Member (Staff) only on Thursday. Prior to that, he was the GM, Western Railways. In an operation kept under wraps, CBI kept a tab on Mahesh Kumar's movements and phone calls and swooped down on Singla at the time of bribe payment. .
Kumar was arrested at the Mumbai airport soon after he arrived from Delhi. He allegedly wanted the position as member (electrical), which falls vacant on July 1.
The deal was allegedly struck for Rs 2-crore and Rs 90 lakh was the first installment.
A case has been registered against Vijay Singla, Mahesh Kumar and the other two under various sections of the Prevention of Corruption Act and IPC.
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Updated Date: May 04, 2013 10:24:11 IST