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Congress, PM split over resignations of Ashwani, Bansal, say sources


Pallavi Ghosh,CNN-IBN
May 07, 2013 at 02:21pm IST

New Delhi: There seems to be a battle between the Prime Minister and the Congress over the resignations of Law Minister Ashwani Kumar and Railway Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal. Sources have told CNN-IBN that the Prime Minister wants both the ministers to continue, yet some in the party want them out.

Both Pawan Bansal and Ashwani Kumari are reportedly close to the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister has been defending them, especially Ashwani Kumar.

But a section in the party feels that the position of both ministers is now untenable and that Bansal should have resigned by Saturday pending investigation. The party also feels that Ashwani Kumar's position after Monday's CBI report in the SC, too has become untenable.

Sources add that a section of the Congress also argues that PM's position and image are being undermined and the Congress's image is getting further eroded. Sources add that the party has been told not to defend Bansal and Ashwani strongly leaving the window of possibility of resignation open.

However, Commerce Minister Anand Sharma said there was no split within the UPA. "The Congress leadership has taken a view to wait. In one case inquiry on and in another, we are waiting for the court's verdict. The division within the party is a perception, I'm unaware of it," Sharma said.

This comes as the Bharatiya Janata Party continues to stall Parliament demanding the resignations of Ashwani Kumar as well as Pawan Kumar Bansal. The BJP reiterated that the government has lost the moral right to stay in power. "Pawan Bansal should have stepped down as soon as the details of his officials involvement came out," said BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi. "The Railway Minister should resign on moral grounds," said CPI-M leader Sitaram Yechury.

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