India minister resigns, TV says, government does not confirm

NEW DELHI Fri May 10, 2013 10:53am EDT

Indian Railway Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal (C) arrives to present the annual budget for the country's railway system, at the parliament in New Delhi February 26, 2013. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi

Indian Railway Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal (C) arrives to present the annual budget for the country's railway system, at the parliament in New Delhi February 26, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Adnan Abidi

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NEW DELHI (Reuters) - India's railway minister Pawan Kumar Bansal resigned on Friday, Indian television channels reported, but the government spokeswoman said she could not confirm this.

Spokeswoman Neelam Kapur told Reuters she was trying to verify the media reports. The prime minister's office declined to comment, while Bansal could not be contacted.

Bansal was widely expected to step down after police arrested his nephew last week for accepting a bribe in a case that was seen as embarrassing to the Congress party-led government which has been battered by a series of corruption scandals.

Opposition demands for the resignation of Bansal and another minister caught up in a separate scandal had paralyzed parliament and forced the government this week to shelve, for now, planned economic reforms as well as a flagship program to give cheap food to 70 percent of the population.

(Reporting by Anurag Kotoky; Editing by Ross Colvin and Jon Hemming)

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