Corrupt Railway Minister Pawan Bansal forced to Resign!! Both Mr Bansal and Mr Kumar are from Punjab and are seen as close to Dr Manmohan Singh but many in the Congress believed both should be out of the government as the accusations that they face were hurting the party and the PM. New Delhi: Railway Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal, the first Congressman to hold the key portfolio in 17 years, has resigned. The name of Mallikarjun Kharge, who lost the race to become Karnataka's chief minister minister today, is doing the rounds as Mr Bansal's replacement. "Pawan Bansal has resigned but he has not been implicated or chargesheeted," said Congress leader Sanjay Jha.There has been much pressure on Mr Bansal, who only took over in October last year, to quit after his nephew Vijay Singla was arrested last week for allegedly accepting bribe to organise a plum posting for a senior official in the Railways, which his uncle heads.Congress president Sonia Gandhi met the Prime Minister this evening even as the party said it would not "spare anybody mired in corruption," the clearest indication yet that Mr Bansal's exit was imminent and might happen even before a Congress core group meeting to be held tomorrow. CBI sources have said that the agency will soon interrogate Mr Bansal to follow up on allegations of his involvement in the bribery case. The sources said the agency is acting on "grave suspicions." (Read) Mr Bansal's name has allegedly been mentioned in several of over a 1000 phone calls that the CBI has tracked over the last few months in its investigation of alleged bribery and corruption in the Railways. The CBI also alleges that the man who sought to bribe Mr Bansal's nephew for a transfer, Mahesh Kumar, has said during interrogation that he negotiated the alleged deal with Mr Singla at several meetings held at the Railway Minister's official residence in Delhi.Mahesh Kumar has also reportedly alleged that Mr Bansal's nephew often used the rooms of his uncle's senior aides at the Railway Ministry office. The CBI has reportedly already questioned Mr Bansal's personal secretary on why Mr Singla was allowed to use government office space. Mr Bansal had reportedly offered to resign a few days ago, but top Congress leaders had decided to wait until after investigations in the case were over. The new allegations had, however, made it untenable for the minister to continue.Congress president Sonia Gandhi was reportedly not in favour of Mr Bansal or Law Minister Ashwani Kumar, who is caught in another controversy, continuing and is said to be clear that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's image must be protected at all cost.