NDA allies together on coal scam: Sharad Yadav

 Janata Dal-United (JD-U) chief Sharad Yadav said Thursday that his party was with National Democratic Alliance (NDA) partner BJP in its protest over the coal allocation scam.

Sharad Yadav, convenor of the Bharatiya Janata Party-led NDA, told reporters after a meeting of the alliance that they were "together".

The JD-U leader, who had earlier said that parliament should function, added that he endorsed the stand of the BJP, which has been stalling both houses over its demand that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh should quit over irregularities in coal block allocations.

"The alliance is united on the coal scam. We have three demands, the prime minister should take moral responsibility, there should be an independent probe and allocation of coal blocks should be cancelled," Sharad Yadav said, flanked by BJP leaders Ravishankar Prasad and Gopinath Munde.

Asked if the JD-U endorsed BJP's demand of the prime minister's resignation, he said: "We have said he should take responsibility. We had given our resignations over Tehelka."

A sting operation by web portal Tehelka in 2001 exposed bribery in defence ministry, after which then defence minister George Fernandes had to resign.

JD-U, which is the second largest party in the opposition alliance, had earlier expressed its unwillingness to stall parliament. Party leader Shivanand Tiwari as well as Sharad Yadav said they felt parliament should be allowed to function.

Asked about his previous comment, when he had said his "personal view" was that parliament should function, Sharad Yadav asserted: "I never said that."

BJP leader L.K. Advani chaired a meeting of the NDA, which decided to carry on with the agenda of not allowing parliament to function unless its demands were met.

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