Scam whistleblower has the last laugh

Scam whistleblower has the last laugh

Scam whistleblower has the last laugh

The whistleblower in the coal scam, BJP MP Hansraj Gangaram Ahir, is a happy man. He is elated over the Supreme Court verdict declaring that all the coal block allocations between 1993 and 2010 were illegal. 

“It is a landmark judgment. I am extremely happy at the apex court’s decision holding that the allocations of coal blocks were illegal. The allocations should be cancelled,” he told a news agency. He, however, wished: “I will be happier if the coal block allocations are cancelled and reallocated to Coal India, the public sector company.” 

The BJP parliamentarian along with Prakash Javadekar, who is now information and broadcasting minister, were instrumental in persuading the Central Vigilance Commission to order a CBI inquiry.

Ahir could sniff wrong doings in the extraction of natural resources due to the advantage of representing Chandrapur where coal mines are in abundance. 

As early as 1990s, Ahir claims that he started working to expose the illegal allocation of coal blocks to private players during former prime minister P V Narasimha Rao’s tenure. 

Ahir was then just a corporator. Opening up of the coal sector in a surreptitious manner was at the cost of the public sector undertaking Coal India.

Later, when he won the Lok Sabha election from Chandrapur in 2004, he raised the corruption in coal allocations in the standing committee of Parliament, of which he was a member. He felt that the swindling of natural resources was a country-wide phenomenon.