"Disclose names of MPs who lobbied for coal block allocations to specific firms"

The Bharatiya Janata Party has demanded that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh disclose the names of MPs who were pressuring the former Coal Secretary, P.C. Parakh, to allot coal blocks to specific companies.

At a news conference here on Saturday, BJP national spokesperson Prakash Javadekar referred to the letter written by Mr. Parakh in 2005 to the then Cabinet Secretary, warning him of a ‘coal mafia’ within the government.

“[The] BJP demands a categorical reply from the Prime Minister on what action he has taken on Parakh[’s] observation that ‘Coal mafia exists in the government,’ [that] ‘there is large scale black marketing of coal,’ and ‘many MPs brought pressure on him.’ These are serious charges and [the] government owes an explanation on all these issues.”

“The Prime Minister,” Mr. Javadekar said, “must tell the nation the names of the MPs who were pressuring the Coal Secretary. [The] government is in the dock as far as the coal scam is concerned. It is monumental corruption and the buck stops at the PM’s door.”

He reiterated his party’s case that Dr. Singh’s willingness for a Central Bureau of Investigation probe was meaningless as he headed the department that controlled the CBI. “His junior Joint-Secretary can visit the CBI and change the status report despite warning by the Supreme Court. That is why it will be futile to expect something meaningful from such a probe till he remains the Prime Minister. The CBI must now go for the recipient of the bribes in the coal scam and must go after the money trail in this regard,” he said.

Rahul’s remarks ‘irresponsible’

On the remarks made by Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi that Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence was approaching victims of the Muzaffarnagar violence, Mr. Javadekar said they were an insult to Muslim youths.

“[The] BJP seeks clarification from Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde as to whether he received this important intelligence input or not, and if he received the input what action has he initiated? Why [are] IB and Home Ministry silent on the speech of Rahul Gandhi? Any responsible leader will share such sensitive intelligence input with their authorities and will not use this as an election ploy in a public meeting. Rahul Gandhi behaved irresponsibly in this respect.”

More In: National | News