Union Railway Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal, who is facing a chorus for his resignation in the wake of the CBI arresting his nephew over an alleged cash-for-post scam, has been consciously avoiding the media ever since the issue became public.
Except for an official written communique on Saturday dissociating himself from the scam, Bansal has maintained a deafening silence on the matter.
Compounding the minister’s woes, his official residence -- 6 Ashoka Road -- is right across the chief Opposition BJP’s headquarters.
Taking advantage of the proximity, BJP workers have been protesting outside Bansal’s house. And the party’s youth wing, the Bhartiya Janta Yuya Morcha, staged a demo outside the minister’s residence on Monday, which forced the police to use water cannon to disperse the protesters.
BJP workers have been gheraoing Bansal’s residence in Chandigarh too. In fact,the veteran Congressman had defeated his BJP rival in the last three Lok Sabha elections. Since the scam broke out, Bansal has consciously avoided using the front door of his residence because of the protests and the presence of the OB vans belonging to the news channels. On Friday evening, after the CBI made its first arrest in the case, Bansal was forced to cancel his visit to Chandigarh by the evening Shatbadi, a ritual he had been following for several years now. And reporters had even gone to the railway station here to get his statement.
On Saturday afternoon, he was captured on camera for the first time as he went to meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and later he was seen entering his house through the backdoor. And it was the latest available footage of the embattled Bansal aired by majority of the TV news channels. Meanwhile, sources at the Rail Bhawan said the minister had attended office twice during the day on Monday after the House was adjourned at 12 and also later in the evening.