Sack Pawan Bansal: BJP leader

Chandigarh, May 4 (IANS) Senior BJP leader Satya Pal Jain Saturday sought the sacking of Railway Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal over a bribery scandal, saying that an appointment to the powerful railway board could not have occurred without the minister’s knowledge.

CBI officials Saturday arrested the minister’s nephew and five others. The nephew, Vijay Singla, allegedly accepted a bribe of Rs.90 lakh for the promotion of a railway official.

Satya Pal Jain, who is also the all-India in-charge of the Bharatiya Janata Party’s legal cell, said in a statement that the bribery scandal could not have occurred without the “knowledge and consent” of the railway minister.

Jain, a former MP from Chandigarh, said that the truth behind the scandal would come out only through “an independent probe”.

“Vijay Singla and Sandeep Goyal are closely associated with Pawan Bansal and Bansal has been operating, politically, socially and in many other types of activities, through both these persons. Earlier also, there have been serious allegations against Bansal of giving full patronage to both these persons,” Jain claimed in his statement.

Singla and Goyal were among the six people arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Saturday on bribery charges. Both of them were arrested from Chandigarh, and their houses and offices in the city were raided by CBI teams since Friday evening.

Singla allegedly accepted a bribe of Rs.90 lakh from senior railway officer Mahesh Kumar who was appointed to the all-powerful railway board by Bansal May 2.

The CBI is claiming that Singla was to get a bribe of Rs.2 crore from Kumar for getting the prize posting in the railway board.

Jain demanded that the CBI should be permitted to hold a completely independent inquiry into the whole scandal, and should not be permitted to dilute its investigation, as was done in the case of the coal mines allocation scam.

He said Bansal should resign on moral grounds and if he did not do that, he should immediately be sacked.

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