At the centre of a political storm ever since his nephew Vijay Singla was arrested by the CBI for allegedly trying to fix promotion for a Member in the Railway Board,Pawan Kumar Bansal,who resigned as Railways Minister Friday,said he had nothing to hide and was open to any inquiry. In an exclusive interview to The Indian Express,Bansal also said he has not received any notice for questioning from the CBI.
Now that you have resigned,what does the future hold for you?
I am very clear in my heart that I have not committed any wrong. I am sure my name will be cleared at the earliest. I have resigned and now my focus is to serve the people of Chandigarh to the best of my abilities. One thing I am certain of is that my constituents know I am not involved in any wrongdoing. I have always tried to work for the betterment of my constituents and will continue to do so in future too. Related: Pawan Bansal to PM: I told you last week let me go
Your nephew has allegedly taken money for the posting of a senior officer on the Railway Board. Was this money for you?
No,it was not and could not have been. I have already stated that I welcome the CBI inquiry and the truth will come out. In an appointment to the Railway Board,there is a process that is followed and that has been done in all cases during my tenure. Postings and promotions at high levels are processed by the Railway Board for onward submission through the Railways Minister to the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet for final approval. No one,including my relatives,can influence such decisions.
There are reports that the CBI wants to question you. Have you got a notice from the CBI?
All are co-operating fully with the CBI and I would want an expeditious investigation. No notice has come to me so far. I would welcome any clarification from me.
There are allegations against you,your family members and your CA of nepotism,breaking rules,loans from Canara Bank,your own unsecured loan of Rs 15 lakh from your sons firm.
I have always maintained the highest probity in public life all through. My colleagues over decades and overwhelming majority in my constituency,Chandigarh,will vouch for this. If someone has broken any rules,he will face the consequences,irrespective of who he or she is. The said CA is a competent Chartered Accountant. I am surprised that he is being held responsible for loans given by Canara Bank to my sons company,Theon Pharmaceuticals. Surprised,because loans of such amounts like Rs 7 crore which my sons company has got are sanctioned by the concerned manager and not the Board of Directors,that too after due diligence by the banks personnel. Loans of amount that is at least 10 times the amount that he has go to the Board. Theon Pharmaceuticals has never defaulted in repayment and would be one of the banks best clients in its category. Then there are other stories doing rounds claiming all sort of absurdities like Rs 0 becoming Rs 150 crores etc. This is a preposterous allegation. The company has grown to the present modest position in 6 to 7 years. We have traditionally been a business family and most of my relatives have been successful businessmen for the last many decades. What should I do? Should I ask my sons not to work hard,not to grow. Just because the Opposition will not like it? This amount incidentally is the turnover and not the profit for last year. This year it must be much more,given the companys acceptability amongst the bigger pharma companies which outsource manufacturing and market the products. Then,they are shouting about an unsecured loan I have allegedly taken from my son. They need to get their facts right. In an anxiety to cull out everything related to us,facts are being distorted. In fact,it is I who gave Rs 15 lakh to Theon Pharmaceuticals.
But what about the irregularity in Mahesh Kumars appointment?
The promotion of Mahesh Kumar as Member (Staff) has been done absolutely as per rules. No officer senior to him fulfilling norms governing appointment to the post has been superceded. This is an irrefutable fact.
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