People won’t forget coal issue in 2014 polls: Karat

The Opposition has taken strong exception to Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde’s remark that people would soon forget the coal scam like the Bofors case, with the BJP pointing to the Congress’ massive loss in the general election after that episode.

“In 1984, post-Indira Gandhi’s death, the Congress had won more than 400 seats. After five years, post the Bofors scandal, the Congress went out of power and its seats got halved… it is a different matter whether people have forgotten Bofors or not, but the Congress has forgotten what Bofors did to it. Since then, the Congress has not got a majority on its own,” BJP MP Balbir Punj said here.

In Pune on Saturday, Mr. Shinde reportedly said that “earlier the Bofors was a talking point... people forgot about it. Now it is coal… this too will be forgotten.”

Janata Dal (United) president Sharad Yadav asked his “old friend” (Mr. Shinde) to concentrate on the working of the Home Ministry rather than making reckless comments.

“People will not forget the coal blocks issue in the 2014 general elections,” CPI(M) general secretary Prakash Karat told journalists in Kolkata.

“The fact that the Congress lost elections after Bofors is a message that people gave to the government of the day… the Congress and Mr. Shinde should remember this,” said CPI MP D. Raja.

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