New Delhi, Sep 10 (IANS) The BJP Monday demanded cancellation of coal block allotments on the basis of the Comptroller and Auditor General’s (CAG) report and an inquiry into the allocations and accused the UPA government of trying to escape responsibility by putting the blame on states.
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain said the Congress was not answering questions raised over allocation of coal blocks and was passing the blame to some opposition ruled states.
“The coal blocks allocation should be cancelled. An independent inquiry should be held and prime minister should take responsibility,” Hussain said.
Responding to Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal’s demand that the BJP should ask its chief ministers to resign over coal block allocations, Hussain said several coal blocks were given in Chhattisgarh without recommendation of the chief minister.
Hussain said the chief ministers had merely forwarded the letters for private investment in coal blocks to the central government.
“It is not that the central government fully agreed to the recommendations of state governments. The allegations are being made to escape from responsibility,” Hussain said.
“The government is a total failure. It should be accountable,” he added.
Hussain alleged that Coal India was not given priority in coal block allocations.
Hussain also took a dig at the government over arrest of a cartoonist and the Prime Minister’s Office writing a letter over an article in Washington Post criticising Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
The BJP leader alleged that the letter over Washington Post article was “a message to Indian media that it should not criticise (the prime minister)”.
He said BJP will build a strong agitation over coal block allocations.
Sibal had Sunday defended the prime minister on the allocation of coal blocks and dared the BJP to seek the resignations of its chief ministers on the issue.
The minister said coal blocks allotment was a state matter and the prime minister has nothing to do with it.
Sibal had also questioned CAG Vinod Rai’s assessment of loss to the exchequer and said that when coal had not been mined, where was the loss.
The Daily News Post India (tdnpost)