BJP leader Satya Pal Jain demanded that the CBI should interrogate Railway Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal who has said that he has no business links with his nephew who was arrested for allegedly accepting Rs 90 lakh to promote a railway official.
At a press conference on Sunday, Jain produced documents to claim that Bansal and his family had close business links with his nephew Vijay Singla, who was arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Saturday.
Jain is in charge of the BJP’s legal cell and a former member of parliament from Chandigarh. “I am surprised why the CBI has not interrogated Bansal yet. Documents that establish a clear business link between Bansal’s family and his nephew are available,” Jain said.
The bribery scam is the latest to hit the UPA government at the centre. Jain claimed that Bansal’s two sons were directors in some of the companies floated by Vijay Singla, who is the son of Bansal’s sister.
Singla was arrested on Saturday with three others for allegedly accepting a bribe of Rs 90 lakh. The bribe was paid to him on Friday by two people for getting a senior railway officer, Mahesh Kumar, appointed as a member of the powerful Railway Board. Mahesh Kumar was appointed to the post on May 2.
Jain claimed that companies floated by Singla had given the address of Bansal’s palatial house in an upscale area of Chandigarh’s Sector 28.
“If they are using his address for their companies, how can there not be a business link? Why is Bansal not coming out in public and answering questions being raised on him?” Jain said.
Singla, who is setting up big a mall-cum-hotel project, Acropolis, in Chandigarh’s industrial area, has business interests in real estate, industry and other projects.
He said that a thorough investigation be carried out by the CBI into the growth of the finances and assets of the Bansal family and their relatives in recent years.
He alleged that a senior IAS officer, Rahul Bhandari, who is the son-in-law of Bansal’s sister and is the railway minister’s private secretary, had also bought properties in and around Chandigarh recently.
The BJP said it will keep pressing for the ouster of union ministers Ashwani Kumar and Pawan Kumar Bansal which, it hoped, will eventually lead to PM Manmohan Singh quitting. Law Minister Ashwani Kumar is facing fire for vetting a CBI report on the coal block allocations scam, while the opposition is baying for the blood of Pawan Kumar Bansal. “We are putting forward this demand on behalf of the people of India. Whether it is Pawan Bansal or Ashwani Kumar, they are trying to save them because they know, as soon as these ministers are out, the prime minister will be in direct line of fire,” said Ravi Shankar Prasad.
No action against Bansal yet: Cong
Backing Railway Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal, the Congress said no action will be taken against them immediately. “There is a probe going on, let the result come. We will decide after that,” said I&B Minister Manish Tewari after a meeting of the Congress core group at the PM’s official residence.