Chandigarh: Launching a scathing attack on former Railway Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal over cash-for-post scam, AAP candidate and former Miss India Gul Panag today questioned the clean chit given by CBI in the case to her rival from Chandigarh seat and said he cannot simply brush aside the alleged involvement of his nephew in the scam.
“A man who has to resign from his Ministerial post (Railways) due to a corruption scandal, a man whose nephew is still in jail is talking of having got the clean chit,” the 35-year-old Bollywood actress told PTI. Panag, daughter of a retired Army officer, said the former Railway Minister has to decide whether he was complicit or incompetent to know what was going on in his ministry.
“It's like this. If I am in a scandal where you found somebody guilty, either I am complicit or I am incompetent. I am incompetent if I don't know what is going on in my ministry. So, I think Mr Bansal has to decide what is he, complicit or incompetent,” she said.
When asked about four-time Chandigarh MP Bansal's statement that the charge sheet in the case has not named him, she said, “I am sure he has a clean chit, he has been given clean chit by CBI under his own government.” “Individually, I have the highest respect for him. He is a man who is of my father's age. He was a class fellow of my father. He is a man with incredible political acumen and incredible experience. But I think it's time for him to step forward and tell us if is he complicit in this (case) or is he incompetent that he does not know what was going on in his own Ministry,” she said.
Bansal's nephew Vijay Singla and nine others, arrested in the Rs 10-crore cash-for-post railway bribery case, will face trial with a special court in Delhi framing charges of criminal conspiracy and corruption against them recently. Bansal has been arrayed as a prosecution witness by the CBI in its charge sheet filed last year.
Apart from Panag, who writes her full name as Gulkirat Kaur Panag and Bansal, prominent among those who are pitted against them include BJP's actor-turned-politician Kirron Kher and BSP's Jannat Jahan.
Panag said that corruption is an issue which affects everyone and her party's fight is to root it out from the society. Panag said that people of this country are seeking a change and AAP is trying to provide them with a viable alternative.
Launching an attack on the parties with “Right wing agenda” she said, “On the other extreme there is such a Right wing agenda, it frightens me as somebody who is a minority, as somebody who has been at the receiving end of religious persecution still hasn't seen justice.”
“I am not saying these parties will not reform, I am sure they will, time will make them reform. Today, they all have made corruption their agenda suddenly, why? There is public pressure, there are pressure groups, so eventually system will get cleaned up -- 50 years, 60 years down the line, there may be no need for AAP by then. The idea is to force change,” said Panag, who has a masters in Political Science.