Sharad Yadav now wants Bansal to resign

Changing his earlier stance, JD-U president Sharad Yadav on Thursday asked Union Minister PK Bansal to tender his resignation.

New Delhi: Changing his earlier stance, JD-U president Sharad Yadav on Thursday asked Union Minister PK Bansal to tender his resignation over the railway bribery case involving his nephew as Opposition protests grew louder against the minister`s continuation.

Yadav also hit out at the government for not taking any action against Law Minister Ashwani Kumar, who is in the eye of a storm for vetting CBI`s draft report on coalgate, and asked the Prime Minister "whom do you want to save?"

The course correction on Bansal came a couple of days after Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar described the earlier statement of Yadav, virtually absolving the Congress leader of any fault in the bribery case as his "personal" viewpoint.

"Whatever I had said about Bansal was based on the information available with me by then and because of what I have known about him so far. But now the kind of reports that are coming in about his relatives being arrested, I feel why should he allow his further condemnation. Bansal should resign," Yadav told reporters here.

At the same time, Yadav maintained that he was not saying that all allegations against Bansal in the public domain are true but added, "I am advising him as a friend, why he is receiving more flak (by continuing as minister). He should resign."

On Saturday last, Yadav 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."

Asked whether Bansal should resign, Yadav had then said, "How do you plan to run this country then. As a political leader Bansal must be meeting a lot of people, can he check the credentials of everyone."

Government and Congress have repeatedly cited Yadav`s statement to defend Bansal, while BJP, which sought it to make a big issue, found itself in an embarrassing situation over Yadav`s remarks.

After a meeting of the Congress Core Group, Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari had on Sunday quoted Yadav`s defence of Bansal to make an attack on BJP saying, "resignation does not augur well for democracy".