New Delhi: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has now widened the ambit of its probe after the Railway Board bribery case. CBI sources say that the agency is now looking at a jobs-for-sale nexus between Railway Protection Force officers' association and middlemen.
According to CBI sources, the transfers, postings and promotions in the Railway Protection Force (RPF) are not based on merit.
The CBI probe widened after the interrogation of Railway Minister's relatives Vijay Singla and Ajay Garg. According to CBI sources, Singla was in regular touch with all senior railway officials for jobs and contracts.
The CBI also questioned suspended Railway Board member Mahesh Kumar and railway contractors Manjunath and Sandeep Goel. The railway contractors paid bribe money for Mahesh Kumar in return for future contracts.
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.