Cancel allocation, say Left, TDP

Manmohan’s statement in Parliament “extremely defensive’’

August 27, 2012 11:18 pm | Updated December 04, 2021 11:41 pm IST - NEW DELHI

(From left) CPI leader D. Raja, the TDP's Nama Nageshwara Rao, CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury and the CPI's Gurudas Dasgupta addressing the media on coal blocks allocation issue at the Parliament House in New Delhi on Monday. Photo: R.V. Moorthy

(From left) CPI leader D. Raja, the TDP's Nama Nageshwara Rao, CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury and the CPI's Gurudas Dasgupta addressing the media on coal blocks allocation issue at the Parliament House in New Delhi on Monday. Photo: R.V. Moorthy

The CPI(M), CPI, All India Forward Bloc and the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) have demanded the cancellation of allocation of 142 coal blocks and a thorough probe into the matter.

Describing as “extremely defensive’’ Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s statement in Parliament on the issue, they criticised him for his remarks on the Comptroller and Auditor-General (CAG).

At a joint press conference here on Monday after the Prime Minister’s statement, CPI leader Gurudas Dasgupta accused Dr. Singh of having no “respect’’ for the Constitution as the CAG is a constitutional body.

While Mr. Dasgupta sought a judicial probe by a Supreme Court judge into the issue, the CPI(M) wanted a thorough probe, which could be a judicial probe as well, to fix the responsibility on the individual responsible for the scam however high post he may hold.

Refuting the charge that the former West Bengal government supported the allocation process, senior CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury quoted the State government’s letters of August 2009 and March 2010, saying it had “never opposed competitive bidding.”

The State’s Left Front had insisted that “the interests of the States should not be bartered away to private companies” and coal blocks allocated to electricity boards, power PSUs and all public utility services. “What remains after that should be auctioned. That was the stand of the Left Front government,’’ he said.

Mr. Yechury accused the Congress and the BJP of colluding to evade any discussion on the matter in Parliament as it would “expose’’ both. “It appears to be a case of match-fixing,’’ he said.

On the Prime Minister’s statement, he said it was “extremely defensive and laboured,” as Dr. Singh had tried to “shift the entire blame on the State governments and the delay in the law-making process.’’

TDP’s Nama Nageshwara Rao sought the cancellation of all allotments.

While Barun Mukherjee of the Forward Bloc said the CAG report should be discussed in Parliament, D. Raja of the CPI said the CAG report had specifically mentioned “financial gains to private outfits’’ unlike in the case of 2G spectrum allocation where the losses were described as “presumptive.’’

Top News Today

Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in

Comments

Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.