New Delhi: Dropping of PK Bansal and Ashwani Kumar from the Union Cabinet was a "joint decision" of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Sonia Gandhi, Congress said on Sunday.

"It has appeared in a section of the media that it was at the insistence of Congress President Sonia Gandhi that the two Ministers were dropped. This perception is not correct. The correct position is that it was the joint decision of the Congress President and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh," party General Secretary Janardan Dwivedi said.

Citing the reports, BJP leader LK Advani took a dig at the Prime Minister, saying he should now call it a day as he appeared to have "abdicated" his right to decide on his Cabinet. "Has the Prime Minister abdicated his right even to decide about his own Cabinet? Today's news reports about the removal of two Union Ministers generally emphasize that, it is Soniaji who has sacked 'two PM’s men',” said Advani.

"Sheer self-respect demands that the PM calls it a day, and orders an early general election," Advani wrote on his blog post.    The reports had it that in a meeting with Singh, Gandhi was understood to have conveyed the party's unease over the public perception against the government for not acting against Bansal and Kumar, who held the Railway and Law Ministry portfolios respectively.

Bansal resigned on Friday following the arrest of his nephew Vijay Singla last week for allegedly accepting Rs 90 lakh for fixing promotion in Railway Board, while Kumar quit in the wake of a raging controversy over his role in vetting the CBI probe report on coal block allocations scam.


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