The CPI(M) feels Anand Sharma's statement is nothing but a blatant effort to influence the case and intimidate the CBI

Public Accounts Committee (PAC) Chairman Murli Manohar Joshi has said the statements of the former Coal Secretary, P.C. Parakh, on coal block allocations were serious and the committee would take note of them as part of its scrutiny of the coal scam.

Asked about the subject at a news conference he had called to talk about the BJP’s manifesto for 2014 polls, Dr. Joshi said that as Chairman of the PAC he would not get into the merits of the statement other than saying that it was a serious matter.

Shocking, says CPI(M)

Separately, the Polit Bureau of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) observed that it was shocking that Union Minister Anand Sharma had come out in defence of a big industrialist claiming that person was innocent in the case, and asked the CBI to proceed in the entire investigation without fear or favour.

“This is nothing but a blatant effort to influence the case and intimidate the CBI. This stand is also to justify the covert policy of privatising the coal industry which is the root cause for the corruption involved.”

The CPI(M) has been demanding a thorough investigation in the case of allocation of natural resources illegally to ensure windfall profits to certain companies.

“Since this involved the period when the Prime Minister was in-charge of the Coal Ministry, this aspect also needs investigation,” it said.

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