Former Railways Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal today said that in recommending senior railway official Mahesh Kumars name for the post of Member (Staff) to the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet,he had given Kumar what he was trying to avoid.
Bansal added that Kumar,who was arrested by the CBI in the infamous rail-bribery scam,had met him thrice-twice in Delhi and once in Mumbai-and had spoken about his eligibility and keenness to be appointed Member (Electrical).
What he was trying to avoid was given to him, Bansal said while speaking at the Idea Exchange at The Indian Express here today. The post of Member (Staff) would have fallen vacant on April 30 and he recommended Kumars name for this post on April 18,Bansal added.
Bansal,who had to resign as the Union Railways Minister after his nephew Vijay Singla was allegedly caught red handed by the CBI while accepting Rs 90 lakh as bribe from Mahesh Kumar for getting a posting of his choice,said Kumar had met him in his Rail Bhavan office twice and had presented his case for appointment as Member (Electrical). Kumar and Bansal came face to face again during the Railway Week celebration in Mumbai in April.
While I was leaving the function he said,aapka aashirwad chahiye (I need your blessings). I told him that he should work. On April 18,I sent the file for his appointment as Member (Staff) to the ACC (Appointment Committee of Cabinet). On April 19,I was in Chandigarh to flag off a train to Ludhiana and travelled on it till Mohali, Bansal said.
In the transcripts of the conversation recorded by CBI on April 20,one person is heard saying that he travelled with me on the train and that I told him that I had not taken a decision on the name of Member (Staff). He goes on to say that the file for appointment of Member Mechanical is lying on my table. I had already moved the file on April 18. This clearly shows that this person was bluffing. I have never even met that person, Bansal said.
The former railways minister said he wanted to fill the vacancies in the Board and Kumar wanted to be posted as Member (Electrical) and not Member (Staff).
He further said that the transcripts of the conversation also reveal that Kumar was
also lobbying for Signals in
case he did not get Member (Electrical).