Demand to sack Ashwani, Bansal grows but Congress remains silent
While a different portfolio is reportedly being considered for Ashwani Kumar, Congress remained silent on Pawan Bansal's future.
New Delhi: The Congress on Thursday remained non-committal on the continuance of its two ministers Ashwani Kumar and Pawan Kumar Bansal. The two have been under fire over allegations of misuse of power. On Thursday, while Bansal chose to skip the Cabinet meet at the PM's residence, Ashwani attended it.
Sources said that the PM was still not keen on Ashwani's exit as that would expose him to opposition attack. Sources also said that Bansal's departure was only a matter of time. However, later on, the party, while downplaying reports of Bansal's absence at the meet, said that he had welcomed CBI probe into the Railway Board bribery scandal, in which his nephew Vijay Singla is an accused and is in jail.
Meanwhile, reports also said that the Congress was now looking to change the portfolio of Ashwani Kumar as a way out.
"Government is seized of the matter. Let us wait. This decision will be taken by the government. It will be done between the Prime Minister and his Cabinet colleague," party spokesperson Renuka Chowdhary said.
She made the remarks after a meeting Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi had with the party spokespersons as also AICC general secretaries Janardan Dwivedi who is the in-charge of AICC media department.
"I am not an astrologer. How can I predict what is going to happen? These are probabilities, these are possibilities. We cannot say anything about it at this time. A process is on. As long as this process does not culminate, we cannot preempt any of the issue.... The matter is sub-judice. We cannot preempt a reply," Chowdhary said.
With additional information from PTI