"The PM should step down while the coal scam probe was on"

The BJP on Saturday demanded a speedy and fair probe into the coal block allocation scam, alleging that the CBI has not questioned the Ministers of state in the coal ministry and officials in the PMO about their alleged role in the affair. “The CBI inquiry into the coal scam is not progressing as rapidly as expected. The probe is not being carried out in the manner and at the speed at which it should be. Moreover, the officials concerned in the PMO and Coal Ministry are not being questioned about their role in the scam,” BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar said.

The party also reiterated its demand for Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to step down from his post, saying that his continuance in office was not right while the coal scam probe was on. Mr.Singh had held the coal portfolio from 2006-09, when the allocations in question were made. “The Prime Minister has further lost credibility. It is not our habit to demand his resignation, but there is a rationale behind it,” Mr.Javadekar said.

The main opposition also insisted that the alleged role of Minister of State for Coal, Dasari Narayan Rao, and Santosh Bagrodia, should be probed by the CBI. “The CBI is not taking the probe forward. The money trail in the scam has still not become visible,” Mr.Javadekar said.

Making the point that 40 allocations had been cancelled so far, the BJP leader said that the government should share the details of who all were responsible for the irregularities in the allotments.