"It was a conspiracy against me. This conspiracy should have been over eight months ago. After eight months of probe, when no proof was found against me, the chargesheet did not name me, still some people, who consider themselves to be the well-wishers of the nation have targeted me," the former union minister said sarcastically on Thursday.
"In fact some people had made it their pastime to target me but they will get their answers...I was confident of this for the last ten months because I am staying in Chandigarh and I am not in Delhi for the last ten months. I meet people, I go for functions, we organise functions," he said.

Bansal has been renominated from Chandigarh seat.

There was speculation that Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari, who is presently an MP from Ludhiana, was eyeing the Chandigarh seat.
The speculation gained ground as Tewari repeatedly stressed that those having ‘taint’ should not be given tickets and that the party should not get into legalities and instead ‘not give tickets to those who are facing even allegations of corruption’.
The two leaders are said to be having old rivalry in Punjab politics. However, Tewari later dismissed as ‘completely unfounded’ the speculation that he was reluctant to contest from Ludhiana Lok Sabha seat maintaining that he had already conveyed to Congress leadership about his willingness to be fielded from the constituency.
"It is absolutely erroneous, the speculation was completely unfounded. It was devoid of any merit. I had contested in 2004 in Ludhiana. I lost by a narrow margin. I worked in the constituency for five years, won in 2009 by the highest margin and have conveyed it to the leadership that I am more than willing, more than prepared, because I have worked in my constituency to re-contest from Ludhiana," he said.
Tewari said while it was for his party's Central Election Committee to decide, he was ‘unambiguously’ clear in his mind that he wanted to contest from Ludhiana.

Asked whether he still held the view that Congress should not field tainted candidates, Tewari said the party had maintained a consistent line on the issue.
"Whenever there was even a whisper of an allegation, the Congress has acted. People have had to resign, so therefore given the totality of those circumstances, there was a certain articulation which I thought was a logical extension of what we have been doing over the past five years," he said.

He added these decisions are taken by Central Election Committee of the party where senior leaders take decisions in the best interest of the party.

“All of us are bound by their decisions," Tewari said.

Meanwhile, Bansal said that he was grateful to the party high command for believing in him.

“I am sure that with the support of people in Chandigarh, we will surely win the seat,” he said.
Bansal said that there was an attempt to prove that the probe, that did not chargesheet him, was incorrect but the court dismissed it three days ago. He was apparently referring to the filing of a petition by an NGO, which was rejected by the High Court.
"This has worked in my favour. We must believe in the legal system of the country. Those, who do not believe in law do such things," Bansal said.
Party sources said that the Congress Central Election Committee had cleared Bansal's name for Chandigarh long back but did not announce it in the first list to avoid any controversy while making a big declaration of candidates for 194 seats.

Giving clear indication that Bansal would be the choice for the Chandigarh Lok Sabha seat, AICC General Secretary in-charge for Chandigarh, Shakeel Ahmed, had earlier said that purported "taint" on the former rail minister was all a matter of "speculation which has nothing to do with the truth".

"Bansal ji is our respected leader. When the list will be issued and it will have Chandigarh's name, you will come to know what is the reality...Bansal's name does not figure either in the FIR or charge sheet (in the cash-for-post scam),” Ahmed had said.
"One NGO had filed a PIL in the same case, which was rejected by high court. This is all media speculation (about Bansal's taint), which has nothing to do with truth," he added.
A Special CBI court on Thursday framed charges of criminal conspiracy and corruption against Bansal's nephew Vijay Singla and nine others who were arrested in the cash-for -post railway bribery scandal when the Congress leader was holding the railway portfolio.

With a row erupting over the case, Bansal had resigned from the Union Cabinet earlier this year. The party, however, maintained that Bansal's resignation was only on moral grounds.
After his resignation in May last year, Bansal staged a comeback in January this year as he was appointed chairman of the party's candidate screening panel for the key states of Gujarat and Rajasthan along with the Union Territories of Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu.

Meanwhile, BJP leader Satya Pal Jain on Thursday said that by re-nominating Bansal from Chandigarh seat, the Congress has proved that "corruption is no issue" for them.

"Rahul Gandhi may talk of eradicating corruption but the party encourages and protects those who are facing serious corruption charges. Bansal's renomination proves that the entire Congress high command were beneficiaries of the Railway scam,” Jain said.
Jain said the BJP will continue fighting against ‘corruption’.


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