Coal blocks scam: Law Minister Ashwani Kumar resigns

Ashwani Kumar has been under attack by the opposition for vetting the CBI report on coal block scam, with the Supreme Court making critical observations over it.

NEW DELHI: Law Minister Ashwani Kumar resigned on Friday following mounting pressure from the opposition, demanding his removal.

Kumar has been under severe attack by the opposition for vetting the CBI report on coal block allocation scam, with the Supreme Court making critical observations over it.

Kumar's resignation was the second in Congress' cabinet on Friday just hours after that of Railway ministry Pawan Kumar Bansal who was earlier asked to put in his papers after a bribery scandal hit the ministry.

The resignation of the two ministers came after Sonia Gandhi's meeting with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

Congress President Sonia Gandhi had asked the PM to take a final decision on the ministers. According to news channel CNN-IBN, Sonia Gandhi felt that allegations against the ministers may damage party's image and that the damage must be controlled.

Congress Party earlier in the day made it clear that 'it is not going to spare anybody mired in corruption'.

"The Congress is examining the issue very seriously," Congress spokesperson Bhaktcharan Das told reporters, when asked about the bribery allegations against Bansal.

The Law Minister along with Bansal met the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh at his residence, submitting their resignations.

Earlier, reports said that Kumar might be shifted to a different portfolio through a Cabinet reshuffle. Congress spokespersons maintained that the government is "seized" of the matter of continuance of Bansal and Kumar. (With inputs from Agencies)