All coal block allocations should be cancelled: Jaitley
New Delhi: Increasing pressure on the Congress led ruling coalition on multi-crore coalgate scam, the main opposition BJP on Tuesday reiterated its demand that all coal blocks allocated by the UPA government should be cancelled immediately.
Speaking to reporters, BJP’s Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley said, ”The BJP demands that all 142 coal blocks allocated by the UPA government since 2006 should be immediately cancelled and the same be re-auctioned.”
The BJP leader further stated that his party will raise the issue in the Winter Session of the Parliament. “While we demand an impartial probe into the matter, we have decided to raise this issue during the Winter Session of the Parliament.”
Asked if BJP is alone on this issue as even its allies have indicated that they would like a debate in Parliament on the issue, Jaitley said, "We don`t stand alone. And on corruption even if we have to fight alone it would be majestic isolation. The support of the people is with us."
BJP leader also charged that if the government really felt competitive bidding was needed it should have brought an ordinance.
He alleged that there seems to be no basis on which these block allocations were made. "Moreover, while only 70 coal blocks were allotted between 1994 and 2006- and most of these were for public sector units- 142 blocks have been allotted from 2006 till today, " he said.
Shifting his focus from the coalgate scam to the poll-bound Himachal Pradesh, the BJP leader accused former union minister and Congress leader Virbhadra Singh of corruption, forgery, money laundering and faking income tax records.
The opposition leader demanded a special investigation team (SIT) to investigate the allegations against the Congress leader, since he didn`t "trust the CBI".
Taking a dig at Congress president Sonia Gandhi, who shared the stage with Singh at an election rally in Himachal Pradesh, he said, “If Sonia Gandhi was not aware about the charges against Virbhadra Singh, then she should not have shared stage with him and if she was aware then it she should not have spoken on corruption."
The reaction from Jaitley came hours after noted anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare demanded a life term for those involved in the multi-crore coalgate scam and asked the government to get to the bottom of the controversy.
While talking exclusively to Zee News on Monday, the Gandhian said, “Those involved in the coalgate should be given a life term if they are found guilty.”
The Gandhian further said, “Giving a life term to those found guilty will send a strong message across the country.”
When quizzed by reporters that the politicians believed to be involved in the coalgate scam should give an explanation, Anna said, “This is not happening…. They can’t do so. They have to run the government, which requires them to take everybody onboard. “
When asked to comment on the silence maintained by the political fraternity on such a massive scam, the Gandhian said, “They will not be able to raise their voice against those involved in it…neither PM Manmohan Singh, Congress president Sonia Gandhi nor Rahul Gandhi will speak on the issue since they have to run the government. Today many governments are being run like this. Vote bank politics is mainly responsible for this situation.”
In a scathing attack on political leaders, Hazare said, “Names of Congress leaders like Navin Jindal and Vijay Darda are doing the rounds in coal scam.”
With Agency Inputs
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