Rift within NDA; Akalis want to listen to PM in Parliament

In an indication of rift within NDA, its key constituent Akali Dal today said it would like to listen to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on coal block allocation, a remark that goes against BJP's position of not allowing Parliament to function till he resigns.

"Where is the move for PM to speak?... If he (PM) speaks, people will listen. Where is the move for PM to speak," Akali Dal leader Harsimrat Kaur told reporters when asked about her party's stand on whether PM should be allowed to speak.

"People want to listen but he has not spoken yet," she said.

BJP has been insisting that it wants nothing less than the Prime Minister's resignation.
Kaur accused the government of trying to brush the scam under the carpet.

At the same time, she claimed that there was "no division in rank and file of NDA. Akali Dal is solidly with BJP. There is no change in it."

Amid the din in the Lok Sabha, the Prime Minister started reading out his statement on coal block allocation which was later tabled in the House.

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