Bikaner/Shimla: Anti-graft crusader Anna Hazare on Sunday demanded resignation of Railway Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal. The demands came in the wake of Bansal’s nephew arrest on the charge of accepting bribe to fix plum positions in the Railway Board.

"The minister should resign on moral grounds and the matter should be probed by a special investigation team," he told reporters here.

On the functioning of the CBI, Hazare said it should be made an impartial agency free from government's pressure.   Referring to the current political scenario, he said corruption was flourishing in the country due to party-system.

"The party-system has encroached on democratic values. Corruption is flourishing under such a system which needs be addressed urgently," the social activist said. Only candidates with impeccable image should be put by the political parties for elections to make the system clean, he said.

BJP seeks Railway Minister’s ouster

Stressing that an impartial probe will not be possible if Pawan Kumar Bansal remains on his post, the BJP sought ouster of the Railway Minister in connection with the Railway Board bribery controversy.

"Propriety demands that Bansal should resign immediately as no fair probe is possible unless he resigns as Railway Minister," BJP Vice President Balbir Punj said.

Punj also attacked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for not asking his ministers Bansal and Ashwani Kumar to step down despite back-to-back allegations. Name of Ashwani, who holds the Law portfolio, is embroiled in controversy over over his alleged interference in the preparation of the CBI status report in the coal scam.

Accusing the UPA government of adopting double standards on corruption, Punj said the present regime will go down as the "most corrupt and inefficient government" in country's history.

(JPN/Agencies)

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