‘Coal block allocation had PM’s stamp of approval’
New Delhi: BJP on Thursday alleged Congress is "defending the indefensible" in Coalgate and posed seven questions on the reported anomalies in coal blocks allocations, claiming each allotment has the "stamp of approval" by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
"Congress is neck-deep involved in Coalgate... They are defending the indefensible. They first deny the existence of any scam. Then they try to destroy the credibility of the Constitutional agency which brings out their corruption and after failing in this they resort to diversionary tactics," BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar said.
In response to Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh`s questions to BJP, the opposition posed seven questions on the coal issue to corner the government.
"Is it not a fact that every allotment of the coal block carried a stamp of approval of Manmohan Singh as the Coal Minister? He was the Coal Minister during most of the period of these arbitrary allotments. How then the hierarchical subordinates are responsible and not the approving authority?” Javadekar said.
The party asked if the PMO itself was not opposed to the proposal of competitive biddings in September, 2004.
"Congress game plan was very clear from the beginning. Moot the idea of auction but don`t move ahead with required speed. Delay the proposal and its enactment and implementation. Keep the sword of auction hanging so that the black-gold rush will convert into net gain for Congress coffers. This is malafide and crux of the scam," he said.
BJP denied that Ajay Sancheti, party MP and close associate of party president Nitin Gadkari, was a beneficiary of the coal block allocation.
The party said he got the block through competitive bidding and the state held a majority share.
However, when asked about reports that Sancheti was the sole bidder, the party failed to give a convincing reply.