New Delhi: In a direct attack on senior Congress leader and Union Coal Minister Sriprakash Jaiswal, Samajwadi Party leader Ram Gopal Yadav on Tuesday accused him of serious irregularities in the allocation of coal blocks after he took charge of the Coal Ministry.
Speaking to Zee News, Yadav said, “Sriprakash Jaiswal cleared allocation of three coal blocks with one hour and seven minutes of taking charge as Union Coal Minister.” Jaiswal had taken charge of the ministry on January 19, 2011.
“The previous NDA government and other governments of IK Gujral and Dewe Gowda had cleared only three-four blocks during their entire tenure…”, he added.
Jaiswal had earlier said that no coal block was given away during his tenure and only allotment letters were issued to some firms to whom coal mines were allocated in the first term of the UPA government.
"I have said time and again that except the coal block allocations made in UPA-I, no allocations have been made. If any Member of Parliament is making any such statement, then that MP is misleading the media as well as the nation," he said.
Jaiswal had refuted BJP MP Hansraj Ahir’s allegations that he sanctioned coal blocks to three private companies — SKS Ispat and Power, CGSponge Manufacturers Consortium Coalfield and API Ispat and Powertech.
"Only two coal blocks were there, whose names have been mentioned. They were already approved (in UPA-I), but allocation letter was not issued because general elections were declared. Those allocation letters got issued when UPA-II came in to the power," he said.
"Forget 35 blocks, not even 0.35 coal blocks were allocated in UPA-II. You can come to our office and find it out, there is no basis (of the allegations)," he said.
Ahir has alleged that Jaiswal sanctioned the allocations to three private firms in late 2011 without following the auction route despite the fact that rules for auctioning had come into effect in 2010.