CAG report: Govt-Oppn headed for prolonged confrontation

Government and Opposition were today on course to a prolonged confrontation over the CAG report on coal allocation, with NDA demanding resignation of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh who said satisfactory answers could be given to all issues if a debate was allowed.

Government rejected demand for Singh's resignation as "preposterous" and accused the Opposition of "trying to make an issue out of nothing" but the BJP said it will not relent till its demand is met.

Government sought to turn the tables on the Opposition, saying the allocation was made on the basis of recommendations of state governments ruled by non-UPA parties.

The CAG report, which has estimated loss of Rs 1.86 lakh crore due to coal block allocation without allocation between 2005 and 2009, rocked Parliament with a determined Opposition stalling proceedings by demanding Singh's resignation as he held the Coal portfolio during that period.

The Lok Sabha could not transact any business because of the unruly scenes, which first resulted in adjournment till noon and then for the day.

The Rajya Sabha could function only to allow the unanimous election of Congress leader P J Kurien as Deputy Chairman of the House before it was adjourned for the day amid uproar.

Singh later said the government is ready for any debate and give satisfactory answers to all issues raised.

"We are ready for any debate," he told reporters, adding "We can give satisfactory answers to all issues being raised."

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal termed as "preposterous and baseless" the opposition demand.

"Let them come for a discussion... It is not right on their part. They know that there is nothing. Still they are trying to create a situation on an issue which is not there," he told reporters outside Parliament House.

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