Cong received kickbacks, alleges BJP

Cong received kickbacks, alleges BJP

The Bharatiya Janata Party on Monday demanded that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh should cancel all the coal blocks allotted without auctioning during the UPA regime and tender his resignation taking moral responsibility for the huge financial loss incurred by the public exchequer.

The main Opposition alleged that the ruling Congress, in the allocation of 142 coal blocks on nomination basis, received huge kickbacks from the beneficiaries. For this, the prime minister deliberately delayed the implementation of the policy of competitive bidding. 

“The Congress received huge sum (kickbacks) in coal block allocations. To facilitate this, the prime minister delayed the implementation of competitive bidding policy. I make this allegation taking full responsibility,” Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj charged, demanding a probe into the allocations.

The party, however, did not provide any proof to substantiate the allegation.
 “We demand him (Prime Minister) to cancel all the 142 coal block allocations made (on the nomination basis) and fresh allocations be made through competitive bidding. We also want him to take moral responsibility for putting the public exchequer into huge financial loss in making such allocations, and tender his resignation,” Swaraj said.

By accepting full responsibility for the Coal Ministry’s decision to allot coal blocks through an inter-ministerial screening committee, the prime minister has lent credence the charges levelled against him by the BJP, she added. Between 1993 and 2005, states allotted just 70 coal blocks, while the UPA government allotted as many as 142 coal blocks within four years, between 2006 and 2010.

“It took the government eight years to formulate a policy for allocation of coal blocks through competitive bidding and implement it. But, it was swift in making allocations (on nomination basis),” she charged.

The party rejected the prime minister’s claim that postponing the allocation of the coal blocks until a new system was in place, could have resulted in lower energy production, lower GDP growth and lower revenues.

BJP denies PM a chance to speak

Even as the unrelenting Bharatiya Janata Party did not allow him to speak in Parliament, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Monday said  although he preferred not to respond to the Opposition’s “motivated criticism” targeting him personally, he should be given an opportunity to put forward the government’s “strong and credible” defence on the coal scam, reports DHNS from New Delhi.

The proceedings of both the Rajya Sabha and the Lok Sabha were stalled as BJP
MPs trooped to the wells of the Houses and shouted slogans demanding resignation of the Prime Minister over the Comptroller and Auditor General’s report on coal block allocation between 2006 and 2009.

 “It has been my general practice not to respond to motivated criticism directed personally at me,” the Prime Minister later told journalists outside the Parliament House. He also recited an Urdu couplet to explain why he generally preferred to keep mum despite being attacked by the BJP-led Opposition.

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