Against Centre’s refusal to cancel allotments of coal blocks and order an impartial probe

National Democratic Alliance (NDA) MPs will hold a dharna on the premises of Parliament on Friday, last day of the monsoon session, in protest against the refusal of the government to cancel coal blocks allotment and order an “impartial enquiry.”

The objective of the NDA in holding the dharna is two-fold.

It wants to demonstrate that all the constituents of the alliance are united in the strategy to disrupt Parliament on the Comptroller and Auditor General’s report and also signal the NDA’s resolve to keep the issue alive and take it to the people.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which leads the alliance, is expected to work out a plan after the return of party president Nitin Gadkari from his trip abroad next week.

In response to a series of questions posed by Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh to the BJP on Wednesday on the allotments, the party came up with queries of its own addressed to the Congress.

Party spokesperson Prakash Javadekar told journalists here that the Congress had no answers to the questions being asked on coalgate and “it is defending the indefensible.”

“In this strategy, they first deny the existence of any scam.

At a later stage, they try to destroy the credibility of the Constitutional agency which brings out their corruption and after failing in both these ruses, they resort to diversionary tactics.”

PM’s stamp of approval

He wanted the Congress to disclose how many of the party Chief Ministers were opposed to allotments by auction and asserted that each allotment had the “stamp of approval” by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

“Is it not a fact that every allotment of the coal block carried the stamp of approval of Manmohan Singh as the Coal Minister? He was the Coal Minister during most of these arbitrary allotments. How then are the hierarchical subordinates responsible and not the approving authority?” Mr. Javadekar asked.

“Moot the idea of auction but don’t move ahead with required speed. Delay the proposal and its implementation. Keep the sword of auction hanging so that the black-gold rush will convert into net gain for Congress coffers. This is mala fide and the crux of the scam,” he said.

On the charges that Ajay Sancheti, party MP and close associate of party president Nitin Gadkari, was a beneficiary of the allocation, Mr. Javadekar said he got the block through competitive bidding and the State held a majority share. However, he conceded that Mr. Sancheti was the sole bidder.

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