Ahir honoured for pursuing coal block irregularities

For Hansraj Ahir, a berth in the Union Council of Ministers is considered a reward for doggedly pursuing irregularities in coal block allocations which proved to be the nemesis of UPA-II.

The 60-year-old Ahir is a four-term Lok Sabha member from Chandrapur in Vidarbha region of Maharashtra. The numerous coal mines in the vicinity of his constituency provided him instant insight in the problems faced by the sector.

A Member of Parliament should pursue his struggles through using his privileges inside the House, believes Ahir, who claims never to have used the Right to Information Act to dig out details on the coal block allocations. He was advised by some BJP leaders to move court but Ahir continued his investigations using his powers as a Member of Parliament. In 2012, with some help from then BJP spokesman Prakash Javadekar, Ahir moved the Central Vigilance Commission to inquire into the coal scam after his efforts were stonewalled by the UPA government.

A few months later, it was only after the CVC ordered a CBI inquiry into the scam that its ramifications came to light and it hit bigwigs in various sectors. For Ahir, his induction as a Union Minister of State is a birthday gift that comes two days early. Ahir was born on November 11, 1954, Nanded in Maharashtra.

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