Coalgate: Ashwani Kumar may have to go by May 6, say Congress sources

Ashwani Kumar

Union Law Minister Ashwani Kumar’s days might be numbered in the government, senior Congress sources told Headlines Today on Wednesday.

They said Kumar might be relieved of his charge by May 6 when the Supreme Court takes up the next CBI affidavit on the coal block allocation scam.

Sources said Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who has been backing Kumar, was outnumbered by party leaders who thought the minister’s resignation was necessary to limit the damage following the Supreme Court’s scathing observations on the coalgate probe. The apex court had also made pointed references to the CBI and freeing it from extraneous interference when it came to light that the probe agency had given in its report for perusal to the government before submitting it in court.

The Congress thinktank believes the CBI’s affidavit would sooner or later reveal that Kumar tried to shield the government by dictating changes in three key paragraphs of CBI’s coalgate probe status report.

This effectively is believed to have diluted the report that questioned government’s coal block allocations. The affidavit filed by the CBI in sealed cover, sources said, makes it clear that Kumar specifically asked for these crucial changes. The law minister, in any case, has been facing the SC heat for overstepping his jurisdiction.



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