The opinion poll results forecasting the return of the Congress to power in Karnataka could have won only a temporary reprieve for Railway Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal. Sources in the CBI said that it was a matter of time before the minister was confronted with evidences in the matter.
Bansal’s nephew Vijay Singla and Railway Board member Mahesh Kumar were arrested on Friday in what could be termed as ‘note-for-post’ scam. The member, now under suspension, is alleged to have handed over Rs 90 lakh as part of the Rs 10 crore deal with the minister’s nephew to secure a seat on the Railway Board. Mahesh Kumar was appointed to the post on 2 May. Kumar was eyeing the post of Member (Electrical) in the board.
Incidentally, the CBI’s director himself is embroiled in a case of alleged official misdemeanour in the probe relating to the coal gate scam. The matter is coming up before the apex court on Monday.
‘The CBI’s investigating officers has call records of over three months which was collected after tracking over 1000 telephone calls and the evidence is not a problem. In fact, the entire operation conducted by the CBI ensured that the accused are caught red-handed,’ CBI sources stated, adding that, ‘The money has exchanged hands in the railway ministry for postings, transfers and appointments and in connection with big contracts.’
The lid was blown as the CBI raided the office of one Sandeep Goyal in a Chandigarh mall where an initial payment of Rs. 90 lakh was being made to Vijay Singla. A Bangalore-based businessman Narayan Rao Manjunath was also apprehended and the agency suspects that the entire amount was arranged by him. The deal was locked at Rs 10 crores.
Other than the four main players, Mahesh Kumar, Vijay Singla, Sandeep Goyal and Manjunath, the CBI has also arrested the two courier boys, Dharmendra Kumar and Vivek Kumar.
Meanwhile, BJP leader Satya Pal Jain on Sunday demanded that the CBI should interrogate Bansal who has said he has no business links with his arrested nephew.