After twin resignations, will the PM go?



After twin resignations, will the PM go? Zee Media Bureau

New Delhi: The BJP-led opposition has stepped up its pressure on the UPA government by demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh even after he sacked Railway Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal and Law Minister Ashwani Kumar over corruption charges.

Reports, Saturday, claimed that the opposition parties are in no mood to spare the government and say "consequences should follow’, while demanding Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s resignation.

"Now, there is no logic in the Prime Minister's continuance. Having decided to drop the Law Minister who was protecting the Prime Minister, then the consequences should follow. The consequence is that the Prime Minister must resign now," BJP leader LK Advani said late Friday.

Describing the resignation of Railway Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal and Law Minister Ashwani Kumar as a step taken "too late", BJP charged the government with "wasting" precious time of Parliament by not agreeing to its demand earlier and allowing it to function.

The opposition party hoped that the probe into the railway bribery scam will now move into the right direction and truth will come out if CBI probes the matter 0freely.

"This is a step taken too late. Had the Prime Minister and Congress agreed to BJP's demand earlier, they could have saved the precious time of Parliament," BJP spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain was also quoted as saying by the national media.

"The resignation of the two Ministers shows that our demand for their resignation was justified and the government was unnecessarily adamant. If they had accepted our demand for their resignations earlier, the Parliament session could have gone on on," Leader of Opposition Sushma Swaraj said on Twitter.

The opposition intensified its attack on the UPA government hours after Congress chief Sonia Gandhi reportedly met the Prime Minister and asked him to act against his ministers charged with corruption and interference.

After the fast-paced developments, Law Minister Ashwani Kumar and Railway Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal were both forced to quit late on Friday.

The twin resignations have triggered the possibility of a Cabinet reshuffle as early as next week, with Mallikarjun Kharge likely to get the Railway Ministry.

The allegations of corruption against Bansal and the alleged interference by the Law Minister in the CBI’s functioning have badly hit the credibility of the UPA government at the Centre.

The Congress, though it took some time in the sacking the two ministers, hoped that the exit of the Bansal and Ashwani Kumar will restore the credibility of the ruling coalition government and would probably end the deadlock in Parliament.

However, the opposition seems to be in no mood to give any concessions to the Congress and is likely to step up pressure on the UPA government in the days to come.

Worried about protecting the Prime Minister, the Congress has put up a brave face defending Dr Manmohan Singh, who, the parry says, is a man of impeccable integrity.

Other big questions which worry the Congress leadership are – will Attorney General and PMO officials who attended the meeting with him where CBI status report was changed will also be sacked after the Law Minister’s exit?

And can the Prime Minister still insulate himself from the Opposition, which alleges that he knew everything about what his ministers were doing?

It now remains to be seen whether the resignations will stop the Opposition attacks on the Prime Minister or will it further strength their demand for his resignation.