Vowing to take Coalgate to the people, the Bharatiya Janata Party on Friday defended its disruption of the just-concluded monsoon session of Parliament on the plea that it would “cleanse” the process for a fair allocation of natural resources.
At the customary news conference held to mark the end of the session, Leaders of the Opposition Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley said the BJP, as a “responsible” opposition, could not have remained a ‘mute spectator’ to the government’s refusal to answer the ‘biggest corruption scandal’ in Indian history, which happened right under Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s nose.
The BJP would meet on September 13 to chalk out a programme to take the fight to the streets and from “village to village.”
To a question whether disruption of Parliament was the only option available to the party, Mr. Jaitely said the BJP was not in favour of this course of action often, and it should be resorted to in the “rarest of rare cases.” However, he insisted, the 2G spectrum scam and now the coal scandal demanded such action. But for the strategy adopted by BJP on the 2G spectrum issue, the country would not have realised so much revenue on account of auctioning of licences, he said.
“Even if there has been a loss of Parliament’s debating time, on account of the very nature of our protest, we are confident that this protest, coupled with our forthcoming battle from Parliament to the people, will cleanse the process for a fair system of allocation of natural resources,” Ms. Swaraj said.
The BJP leaders said the recent reports in the media after the CAG report conclusively established that the coal block allotments were a national loot.
“It was a case of crony capitalism at its worst. A large number of politicians and businesspersons, close to the UPA, have been the beneficiaries of this allotment. All this was happening under the very nose of the Prime Minister, who was also Coal Minister.”