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Bansal, Ashwani quit Union Cabinet

By The Assam Tribune

NEW DELHI, May 10 � Railway Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal and Law Minister Ashwani Kumar resigned tonight following a directive from the Congress leadership as the government�s image continued to take a severe battering over allegations of corruption, reports PTI.

On a day of dramatic developments, Congress President Sonia Gandhi met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and it was decided that they should be asked to put in their papers to contain any further damage to the government that has already been plagued by a series of scandals.

�Yes, I have resigned,� said 64-year-old Bansal emerging from a meeting with the Prime Minister, a week after his nephew was arrested for allegedly accepting Rs 90 lakh from a Railway Board member for a promise of promotion.

Law Minister Ashwani Kumar, who was under attack over vetting of CBI report in the probe into coal block allocation scam, also met the Prime Minister soon after Bansal.

The Congress, which initially decided to weather the storm over Bansal and Kumar, acted to contain any further damage as more and more damning reports surfaced.

Gandhi and Singh took the decision as there was growing unease in the party that the continuance of the two ministers was eroding the credibility of the government, which has been battling scams and controversies for the last three years.

The government, which suffered a severe blow when the Railway Board scam surfaced, was further embarrassed with more media reports emerging about kin of Bansal benefiting from a public sector bank by way of loans when he was Minister of State of Finance.

A clear hint about action against Bansal came earlier in the day when Congress spokesman Bhakt Charan Das said the party will not spare anybody �mired� in corruption or manipulation.

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Bansal, Ashwani quit Union Cabinet

NEW DELHI, May 10 � Railway Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal and Law Minister Ashwani Kumar resigned tonight following a directive from the Congress leadership as the government�s image continued to take a severe battering over allegations of corruption, reports PTI.

On a day of dramatic developments, Congress President Sonia Gandhi met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and it was decided that they should be asked to put in their papers to contain any further damage to the government that has already been plagued by a series of scandals.

�Yes, I have resigned,� said 64-year-old Bansal emerging from a meeting with the Prime Minister, a week after his nephew was arrested for allegedly accepting Rs 90 lakh from a Railway Board member for a promise of promotion.

Law Minister Ashwani Kumar, who was under attack over vetting of CBI report in the probe into coal block allocation scam, also met the Prime Minister soon after Bansal.

The Congress, which initially decided to weather the storm over Bansal and Kumar, acted to contain any further damage as more and more damning reports surfaced.

Gandhi and Singh took the decision as there was growing unease in the party that the continuance of the two ministers was eroding the credibility of the government, which has been battling scams and controversies for the last three years.

The government, which suffered a severe blow when the Railway Board scam surfaced, was further embarrassed with more media reports emerging about kin of Bansal benefiting from a public sector bank by way of loans when he was Minister of State of Finance.

A clear hint about action against Bansal came earlier in the day when Congress spokesman Bhakt Charan Das said the party will not spare anybody �mired� in corruption or manipulation.

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