New Delhi: Congress general secretary Digvijay Singh on Wednesday attempted to downplay the controversy over former union coal secretary Prakash Chandra Parakh`s remarks that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh should be held equally responsible in the coal scam case, saying the retired Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer should say whatever he wants before the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
"As far as Parakhs`s statement is concerned, he is a free man. He is free to make any statement, but instead of making statements he should say whatever he says in front of CBI," Singh told media here.
"The BJP should not forget the fact that the policy under which the allocation of coal blocks took place under UPA, the same was done under NDA. So, they should not act in haste, may be a finger of suspicion points towards them," he added, while hitting back at the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for its criticism of the Prime Minister.
The former union coal secretary earlier today said if the CBI considers a conspiracy in this case then the Prime Minister should be held equally responsible being the final decision maker.
Parakh, who has been named in the latest chargesheet filed by the CBI along with industrialist Kumar Mangalam Birla and his company, said there is absolutely nothing wrong in the decision.
"So, to my mind I don`t know why the CBI has thought that there is a controversy. But of it is a conspiracy then there are different members to this conspiracy. Mr Birla, who made a representation, is one conspirant; I who examined the case and made a recommendation, I can be another conspirant; and the Prime Minister as Coal Minister who took the decision is the third conspirant. So, if CBI thinks that there is a conspiracy then why did they chose and select Mr. Birla and me and why not PM?" asked Parakh
"If there is a conspiracy then we all three conspirants and he is the final decision maker," he added, while talking to a news agency in Hyderabad.
The 1969-batch IAS officer of Andhra Pradesh cadre, who was appointed union coal secretary in March 2004 and remained in that post till he retired in December 2005, said it is for the CBI to answer as to why they have included him in the FIR.