Up to Bansal to decide on resignation, says Nitish Kumar

Patna, May 6 (IANS) Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar Monday defended Railway Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal, saying it was his personal decision whether to resign or not following his nephew’s arrest in a case of corruption in his ministry.

“It is a personal matter to resign or not,” Nitish Kumar told media persons here to requests for comments on the demand for Bansal’s resignation by opposition parties, particularly the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

He refused to support the BJP’s demand for Bansal’s resignation, taking the line of Janata Dal-United (JD-U) chief Sharad Yadav, who had also come out in Bansal’s support.

Backing Bansal, Yadav, the convenor of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA), had said: “If any relative of a political leader is involved in corruption, then what is the fault of that leader. I have known Pawan Bansal for a long time. He has been in Parliament for a long time. What has he to do with anything if his nephew is taking bribe.”

Bansal’s nephew Vijay Singla was arrested last week by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) for allegedly accepting a bribe of Rs.90 lakh. The bribe was paid to him by two people for getting a senior railway officer, Mahesh Kumar, appointed as a member of the powerful Railway Board.

Bansal had issued a statement distancing himself from the incident involving his nephew.

Nitish Kumar said that what has happened was sad and unfortunate. “Investigation into the matter will reveal everything,” he said.

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