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Updated: September 7, 2012 08:45 IST

Congress, BJP locked in question war

Special Correspondent
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Stepping up the attack on the government and Congress, MPs of BJP-led NDA will hold a dharna in Parliament House on Friday, the last day of Monsoon session, to protest against the refusal to cancel the licenses of coal blocks. File photo
Stepping up the attack on the government and Congress, MPs of BJP-led NDA will hold a dharna in Parliament House on Friday, the last day of Monsoon session, to protest against the refusal to cancel the licenses of coal blocks. File photo

But neither party answered questions they flung at each other

The Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party rained questions on each other over Coalgate on Thursday, even as Parliament wound down to the penultimate day of the washed out monsoon session.

On Wednesday, Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh had posed a set of eight questions to the BJP on its alleged role in facilitating Coalgate. The questions pertained to letters written by BJP Chief Ministers to the Centre opposing competitive bidding in coal block allocation; the CAG’s indictment of a BJP-ruled State for a controversial allotment allegedly made to a party Rajya Sabha MP; the personal attacks on the CAG by previous BJP Central Ministers and so forth.

On Thursday, the BJP’s Prakash Javdekar came up with his own questions to the Congress and the government. He said he was astounded that the Congress could question the BJP on Coalgate when its own guilt in the scam was clearly established. The whole world is asking the Congress about Coalgate and they are asking us questions,” he said.

Mr. Javdekar asked if it was not a fact that while Prime Minister Manmohan Singh initiated the policy of competitive bidding, the PMO itself had subsequently opposed competitive bidding.

Further, as the then Coal Minister, did the Prime Minister not append his signature to every coal block allocation? If he did, was he not directly responsible for the scam?

The BJP spokesperson asked the Congress to answer the charge that 1700 crore tonnes of coal had been given away for free by UPA-I.

Neither the Congress nor the BJP answered the barrage of questions they flung at each other. The Congress, which over the past week has sent out its top Ministers to address the daily press conference, deputed Union Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sabil on Thursday to pose some more questions to the BJP. Mr. Sibal wanted to know how Arun Jaitley could claim that holding up Parliament had brought benefits to the country. He said this amounted to elevating denigration of Parliament to an ideology. “How can the Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabhs denigrate Parliamentary democracy by stating that because the government is in a majority, Parliament must be made dysfunctional?” Accusing the BJP of duplicity and hypocrisy, Mr. Sibal said, in December 2001 the same Mr. Jaitley had charged the Congress with stalling Parliament and refusing to participate in discussions over the CAG’s report on the purchase of metal caskets for the martyrs of the Kargil war. Mr. Sibal quoted Mr. Jaitley as saying then that “the Opposition parties will not stand anywhere if the issue is discussed threadbare in Parliament.”

The Minister quoted Mr. Jaitley as also saying that if there were lapses, these would be corrected. Mr. Sibal asked the BJP to adopt Raj dharma instead of Rajneeti dharma (uphold morality instead of playing politics).

“This is so ironic. We are saying exactly the same today. Is this principled politics? The BJP knows that if a discussion is held on the Coal block allocation, the party will be badly exposed.”

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What is the use of parliament, when the majority is being used by UPA to justify their corruptions/ loot & plundering of our mother India. I would have supported the Samajwadi party if they do not have any relations with UPA but unfortunately they are also hand in gloves with them.

from:  raj bagri
Posted on: Sep 7, 2012 at 16:00 IST

It is certain that there is no smoke without fire. All Parties appear to have their hands soiled. But final rsponsbility is with allocating authority. It is not easy to cancel all allocations. It is not easy to retain all allocations. However if this episode moves India towards corruption free Government irrespective of Party/Parties this will be beneficial. Suggest an independant team of Judges supported by clean and unconnected professionals should look into the matter and come out quickly with interim report on which blocks allocation cannot be reversed (in which case suggestions be made how to recoup lost Government revenue) and which can be reversed and should be reversed. Basically matter should be dealt with financially and not politically consistent with law.

from:  chandra
Posted on: Sep 7, 2012 at 15:58 IST

Both the parties stand exposed and it is clear that neither of them
want a discussion on the issue. Their only intention is to score
political points.

from:  Kasyap
Posted on: Sep 7, 2012 at 10:57 IST

One can clearly see Mr Advani's hand behind the current strategy of the BJP. The party was never playing the role of the principal opposition and was very timid in its tactics. One could say BJP seems to have gained back its place albeit not in the fairest of means, ala the rath yatra during 1991 when it bounced back from political wilderness. The strategy seems to be of disruption and chaos similar to the rath yatra, of course with much less social implications and is typical of Mr Advani, who can launch a blitzkreig from nowhere. Coalgate as taken a lot of wind out of Congress's seams, though BJP knows very well if that its own and allies' governments actions may be put to scrutiny if only a complete investigation is done. It chose to ignore even Mr Shourie's suggestion on not disrupting parliament.

from:  Mahadevan
Posted on: Sep 7, 2012 at 10:14 IST

How absurd is the "set of eight questions" and a newspaper like Hindu
gives credence to such absurdity.

Congress wants to say that..BJP by saying the states' rights must not be
compromised while bidding gave it a free hand to rob the country.

from:  Anshuman Kumar
Posted on: Sep 7, 2012 at 09:28 IST

Both the ruling party as well as the main opposition party are busy asking questions of each
other when they should actually be answering the questions being asked of them in the wake
of cag report, more so the ruling party . It is hardly reassuring to the nation that the best the
government has mustered is that some B J P chief ministers were also on board. It is indeed
convenient to the people under scan that no discussion is being allowed. The politicians
thrive on the fact that public in India has short memory and soon the issue will be forgotten or
some new scam will take over.

from:  Parmvir sidhu
Posted on: Sep 7, 2012 at 04:55 IST
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