Bansal Quits: How Sonia proved again – she is Boss, not PM
According to media reports, Mrs Gandhi met the PM on Friday, May 10 and forced Singh to ask Bansal to step down from his position. Hence, Bansal resigned following allegations against his relatives and close aides in connection with bribery scam in Indian Railways.
It is believed that Singh was against the decision of asking Bansal's resignation as the the latter was a close aide of the former. Earlier it was reported that Singh and Mrs Gandhi had different opinions on Bansal which reportedly had triggered clashes between the PM and the UPA Chairperson.
A senior Congress leader from Karnataka -- Mallikarjun Kharge might be promoted as the union railway minister. Cabinet reshuffle may take place in next week, sources informed on Friday.
With this cabinet reshuffle, another close aide of the PM - Union Law Minister Ashwani Kumar may also face the wrath of Mrs Gandhi. Kumar has been accused of interfering in CBI investigation in Coalgate scam.
Congress-led UPA government is under pressure to revamp its image which has been tarnished following several scams and corruption cases against its leaders and ministers. The party has been trying to re-built the trust among countrymen ahead of crucial Lok Sabha election which is expected to be held in 2014.
Bansal is likely to be interrogated by the CBI. According to media reports, Bansal's name has allegedly been mentioned in over 1000 phone calls that the CBI has tracked over the last few months in its investigation of alleged bribery and corruption in the Railways.
The MP from Chandigarh was under pressure to quit after his nephew Vijay Singla was arrested last week for allegedly accepting bribe to organise a plum posting for a senior official in the Railways, which his uncle heads.
The agency will soon interrogate Bansal to follow up on allegations of his involvement in the case. The sources said the agency is acting on "grave suspicions." He was the first Congressman to hold the key portfolio in 17 years.