PM failed to stop vested interests, says ex-coal secy

PM failed to stop vested interests, says ex-coal secy

Former coal secretary P C Parakh has claimed Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was unable to counter vested interests within his government and party, though he has an unblemished personal record.

Parakh, in his 288-page book “Crusader or Conspirator: Coalgate and Other Truths”, set to release on Monday, recalled an incident when he had gone to meet the Prime Minister on a farewell call after submitting his resignation.

“On August 17, 2005, I met the prime minister for a farewell call. I wanted to express my concern at the insult and humiliation that members of Parliament heap on civil servants and senior executives of public service undertakings.”

Parakh, against whom the CBI has registered a case for allegedly favouring Hindalco in coal block allocation in Odisha, said Singh expressed anguish, saying “he faced similar problems everyday. But it would not be in the national interest if he was to offer his resignation on every such issue”.

“I do not know if the country would have got a better prime minister if Manmohan Singh had resigned, instead of facing the humiliation of his own ministers not implementing or reversing his decision. By continuing to head a government in which he had little political authority, his image has been seriously dented by the 2G scam and coalgate, although he has had a spotless record of personal integrity,” he observed.

The retired IAS officer has also accused CBI director Ranjit Sinha of “witch hunt” to impress the apex court. “Perhaps to impress the Supreme Court and the people at large of your new found freedom from the cage,” he has remarked in his book.

“I was surprised at the CBI’s naivete when they registered an FIR in this case and a team of dozen officers landed at my door to search my flat eight years after I had retired. I can say without hesitation that the CBI is either outright incompetent or is playing a deeper game which I do not understand,” he said.

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