Patna: Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar Monday defended Railway Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal, saying it was his personal decision whether to resign or not following his nephew`s arrest in a case of corruption in his ministry.
"It is a personal matter to resign or not," Nitish Kumar told media persons here to requests for comments on the demand for Bansal`s resignation by opposition parties, particularly the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
He refused to support the BJP`s demand for Bansal`s resignation, taking the line of Janata Dal-United (JD-U) chief Sharad Yadav, who had also come out in Bansal`s support.
Backing Bansal, Yadav, the convenor of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA), had said: "If any relative of a political leader is involved in corruption, then what is the fault of that leader. I have known Pawan Bansal for a long time. He has been in Parliament for a long time. What has he to do with anything if his nephew is taking bribe."
Bansal`s nephew Vijay Singla was arrested last week by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) for allegedly accepting a bribe of Rs.90 lakh. The bribe was paid to him by two people for getting a senior railway officer, Mahesh Kumar, appointed as a member of the powerful Railway Board.
Bansal had issued a statement distancing himself from the incident involving his nephew.
Nitish Kumar said that what has happened was sad and unfortunate. "Investigation into the matter will reveal everything," he said.