• News
  • Columns
  • Interviews
  • BW Communities
  • Events
  • BW TV
  • Subscribe to Print
BW Businessworld

Sibal Gets Additional Charge Of Law, Joshi Rail

Photo Credit :

Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal was on 11 May 2013, given additional charge of Law Ministry while Road and Transport Minister C P Joshi the Railways portfolio following the resignation of Ashwani Kumar and Pawan Bansal on Friday, 10 May night.

A Rashtrapati Bhawan communique made these announcements after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh recommended these changes to President Pranab Mukherjee, who accepted the resignations of Kumar and Bansal.

Railway Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal and Law Minister Ashwani Kumar were forced to resign on Friday night by the Congress and the Prime Minister as the government's image continued to take a severe battering over allegations of corruption and interference with graft probe.
On a day of dramatic developments, Congress President Sonia Gandhi met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and it was decided that both 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.

Read Also: Operation Cleanup: Bansal, Kumar Resign

Sibal, an eminent lawyer himself, will get an opportunity to handle the Law ministry for the first time, while Joshi has held the Railway portfolio as temporary charge last year after the exit of Trinamool Congress nominee Mukul Roy.
C P Joshi
"The President of India, as advised by the Prime Minister, has accepted the resignation from the following members of the Council of Ministers with immediate effect: Pawan Kumar Bansal and Ashwani Kumar.

"Further, as advised by the Prime Minister of India, the President has directed that the additional charge of the Ministry of Railways and the Ministry of Law and Justice shall be given to Dr C P Joshi and Shri Kapil Sibla respectively," the communique said.

The changes in the portfolios notwithstanding, there is speculation that there could be a reshuffle of the Union Council of Ministers soon to fill up some vacancies caused by the DMK's exit from the government and the need to place new nominees in the departments being held as additional charge.

Resigned To End Unnecessary Controversy: Ashwani Kumar
Ashwani Kumar put up a brave face on 11 May claiming he quit to end an "unnecessary" controversy and maintained that the Supreme Court had made no adverse comments against him in the case of vetting a CBI graft probe report.

Making a brief statement to reporters, he said resignation does not imply "wrongdoing".

"I have yesterday tendered my resignation to the honourable Prime Minister while thanking him for giving me the opportunity to be a part of his team.

"I have done so to put an end to an unnecessary controversy in a mtter which is before the honourable Supreme Court and in which no adverse comments have been made against me in any manner whatsoever. My conscience remains clear and I believe that I will stand vindicated because divine justice ordains that truth and justice will prevail," Kumar said in a statement.

Kumar, who is under attack over vetting of CBI report in the probe into coal block allocation scam, submitted his resignation yesterday.

He also said there are certain political decisions that are considered necessary and he did what the Prime Minister and the party high command thought was appropriate.

Asked whether he has been made a scapegoat, Kumar refused to make a comment but said he would rather let people make a judgement.

"People of this country, my friends who stood by me, many of you in media and my esteemed colleagues in the profession know me for what I am. I would rather let them make a judgement," he said.

To a poser on his decision to resign if he has done no wrong, he said when resignation papers are put, "they do not, by any stretch of imagination, imply any wrongdoing."