New Delhi: Pressure is building on Railway Minister Pawan Bansal over the Rs 90 lakh bribery case that his family is being probed over. Sources have told CNN-IBN that the CBI has procured data from Bansal's office and residence to zero in on how many times his nephew Vijay Singla or railway supplier Sandeep Goyal visited him.
Sources say that the CBI will now verify from Bansal whether Singla was acting on his own or using the minister's name as a front as there is evidence that Singla was in touch with the top brass of the Railway Ministry.
CNN-IBN has learned that the CBI is also probing Bansal's relatives' roles in recent postings and transfers in the Railway Protection Force. The CBI investigation has now revealed that the bribery case of Rs 90 lakh may not well be a tip of an iceberg.
CBI sources say they are now probing a major jobs for sale nexus between RPF officers association and middlemen, adding that the recent transfers, postings and promotions in RPF are not on merit. The CBI probe has widened after interrogation of Vijay Singla and Ajay Garg.
CBI sources have told CNN-IBN that Bansal's Singla and Garg are involved in many transfer postings in Railways. Sources say Singla was in regular touch with all senior railway officials for jobs and contracts.
The CBI investigation that has been going on for the past 1.5 months has also revealed that the suspended railway board member Mahesh Kumar's deal was that he promised two contractors to pay for him the amount of Rs 10 crore for the post of member electrical in lure of future contracts. Having intercepted calls as well the CBI is now trying to get data from Pawan Bansal's residence to ascertain as to who all among the accused were in touch with him.
Clamour grows for Pawan Bansal's resignation, SP backs Opposition's demand
As the Opposition stepped up pressure on Pawan Kumar Bansal seeking his resignation over the railway board bribery controversy, the Samajwadi Party (SP) also joined it in the demand saying the Railway Minister "cannot be protected for long".
"When non-Congress officials are caught, they are quickly investigated. But Congress ministers accused of corruption are protected. This is a serious matter and Pawan Bansal cannot be protected for long. He will have to be sacked," said SP leader Ram Gopal Yadav. The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), however, said it was too early to conclude that Bansal was involved in the matter. "The CBI is investigating the matter and it should not take long to conclude the probe. We should not conclude or ask the Railway Minister to resign just like that," said BSP chief Mayawati.
Meanwhile, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Monday 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.
Parliament also remained paralysed on Monday with the Opposition demanding Bansal's and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's resignations. Coming out in support of beleaguered Railway Minister Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath rejected demands for his resignation saying it was a "bad tradition" to seek resignations over allegations.