New Delhi, Aug. 18: Communist Party of India (Marxist) (CPI-M) leader Mohammed Salim alleged Sunday that the UPA-II government is stalling a probe of coal block allocations, citing the excuse of ‘missing’ files.
He called on the Supreme Court to take stern action against all those involved in the scam.
“The government and Congress leaders, from the start, have never wanted an inquiry on the coal block allocations. Now with the files going missing, it has become clear that it is not a minor scam and that a lot of important people are involved. And, this is the reason the inquiry has been interrupted and we don’t know what the truth is. They believe people will forget this scam due to the delay in the probe, we want to know the truth. The
Supreme Court should take strict action and create pressure,” Salim said.
Salim further said disrupting Parliament would not help reveal the truth, and added that there are people who don’t want any discussion to happen so that the pressure related to this case ends.
Union Coal Minister Sriprakash Jaiswal had on Saturday confirmed that few files related to the coal allocation scam had gone missing, saying that copies of them are being retrieved.
“It’s true that some files from 1993 to 2004 are missing. We are trying to get the copies of those files ready,” Jaiswal said.
Jaiswal told the media that the Central Mine Planning and Design Institute Limited (CMPDI), Ministry of Steel and Ministry of Cement have also been asked to return the files if they have them.
He added that the Coal Ministry has given 768 files to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the investigation was still in process.
The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) report on coal block allocation stated that nearly 150 coalfields were allotted to private and state-run firms without transparency and objectivity between 2005 and 2009.
The BJP has held Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh responsible and demanded his resignation, for what has been estimated as loss of Rs 1.86 lakh crores to the national exchequer by the CAG in coal block allocation.
The CAG report does not indict the Prime Minister or his office, but the BJP is emphasizing that the Prime Minister held direct charge of the Coal Ministry for the years under scrutiny.
However, the Prime Minister had rejected the CAG’s observations as “misleading” and “flawed”, and blamed the opposition parties for thwarting the efforts of his government to bring a policy of competitive bidding.
Dr. Singh also ruled out any possibility of quitting the top post despite the BJP firm on its demand for his resignation over the coal blocks allocation issue. (ANI)