The dramatic rise and fall of Ashwani Kumar
Elected to Rajya Sabha in May 2002, Kumar, a former Additional Solicitor General, climbed the ropes fast, sometimes creating heart-burns among his colleagues in the party.
Belonging to Gurdaspur in Punjab, Kumar was an Additional Solicitor General before being elected to the Upper House in 2002. He was re-elected to the Upper House in 2004 and 2010.
Within four years of his entry in Parliment, he became a Union Minister in 2006 holding the charge of Minister of State in the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion and of Commerce and Industry.
He was considered close to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, a factor which is said to have played a role in the delay and dilly-dallying over his exit from the Union Cabinet after the controversy broke out over his meeting with the CBI Director and making changes in the the agency's draft probe report on Coalgate.
Kumar had also served as a spokesperson of Congress for a brief stint in 2009. He was, however, dropped from the list of AICC spokespersons amid a controversy.
But he contineued to serve as Chairman, Sub-Committee on Action Taken Notes of the Committee on Public Accounts and a member of the Committee on External Affairs. .