Prime Minister meets president

New Delhi, May 9 (IANS) Prime Minister Manmohan Singh called on President Pranab Mukherjee Thursday amid speculation on the fate of Law Minister Ashwani Kumar following the apex court observations about the government’s role in the CBI affidavit on the coal block allocation issue.

Official sources said the prime minister’s meeting with the president lasted about half an hour. However, no details of the meeting were immediately available.

There has been speculation that the Congress leadership might decide to replace Ashwani Kumar following the apex court observations.

Ashwani Kumar had earlier gone to the Prime Minister’s Office Thursday. However, he denied meeting the prime minister.

The court said Wednesday that the heart of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) report was changed on the suggestions of the minister and government officials.

The court also asked the government whether it was contemplating a law to make the working of the CBI independent and insulate it from extraneous intrusion and interferences.

The court’s observations came on CBI director Ranjit Sinha’s second affidavit filed Monday stating that Ashwani Kumar and senior officials of the PMO and the coal ministry had made certain changes in the report on the allocation of coal blocks.

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