Union Coal Minister Sri Prakash Jaiswal on Tuesday accused the Bharatiya Janata Party of spreading rumours on coal blocks allocation. He said no coal blocks were allocated after 2009 when the UPA-II government was formed. He asked BJP spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad to either prove his allegations or apologise to the country.

Mr. Jaiswal, who was here in connection with Nirmal Khatri taking over as Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee president, told reporters that 195 coal blocks were allocated since 1993 and till the formation of the UPA-I government. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had prepared a bidding process for providing transparency in coal blocks allotment, but it was rejected by the BJP-ruled States.

Mr. Jaiswal said if Parliament was allowed to function, the Opposition party would not have been able to face the reality.

The Minister denied that one Manoj Kumar Jaiswal, who was allotted coal blocks, was a relative of his. If the BJP found evidence, then it was free to move the court. He dismissed the BJP’s demand for a probe by a special investigation team. The Central Bureau of Investigation is already conducting an inquiry into the coal blocks allocation.

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