The Communist Party of India (Marxist) has decided to strongly raise the issue of “missing files” on coal block allocation in Parliament next week. It will seek a reply from the Prime Minister.

Reacting to The Hindu report that important files on coal block allocations had gone missing from the Ministry of Coal, CPI (M) leader Sitaram Yechury told reporters here: “There are reports that coal block allocation files have gone missing. We will raise it strongly in Parliament on Monday. In an era of digitisation, how can you say that files are missing? The Prime Minister will have to reply.”

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) said the government’s approach right from the beginning had been to hide the facts from the CBI. “This is with the sole intention of protecting the PM because he was the Coal Minister (then),” BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar alleged.

Communist Party of India (CPI) leader and Lok Sabha member Gurudas Dasgupta also criticised the government saying, “It only shows how miserably the government is trying to hide its own illegalities.”

It has now come to light that files and records of applications for 45 coal blocks allocated from 1993 to 2005 as also recommendations made by Congress MP Vijay Darda and forwarded by the Prime Minister’s Office for the Bander block have gone missing.

In addition, records of 157 private companies which applied for, but were not allocated, blocks are missing. A number of records and documents pertaining to meetings of the screening committee are also missing, it was revealed at a meeting of the search committee constituted by the Centre following a Supreme Court directive to furnish all missing records and files to the CBI.

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