New Delhi: Government on Monday came under sharp attack on the issue of crucial files of Coal ministry going missing, with the Opposition alleging that it was a conspiracy to save Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in the coal blocks allocation scam and demanding an impartial probe into it.
Opposition was vociferous while raising the issue in the Rajya Sabha, seeking to corner the government by demanding a statement from Prime Minister or Coal Minister on the issue.
Responding to the demand, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Rajeev Shukla assured the House that Coal Minister Sriprakash Jaiswal will make a statement on the issue but gave no time frame.
Raising the issue during Zero Hour, BJP`s Dharmendra Pradhan said such an incident has never happened earlier and the government needs to reply.
"This is a very serious issue... Nothing can be more condemnable. This is a conspiracy... It is an attempt to save the Prime Minister," said Pradhan, wondering if the coal department had a hand in missing of files to protect the Prime Minister from any allegation as he held the Coal portfolio earlier.
Noting that the coal block allocation is being probed by CBI, Leader of Opposition Arun Jaitley said, "There are three powerful targets of investigation and suddenly the files are missing...The government must respond to this...Otherwise you eliminate the evidence and then say no crime is committed.
"There are three important targets of investigation - the beneficiaries who benefited from coal block allocations, the screening committee which allotted the mines and the Minister, the Minister`s office and the Prime Minister`s Office."
Terming it as a "very serious matter" and "sabotaging of the investigations", Left parties demanded an explanation from the government and urged the Prime Minister to order an impartial probe into the issue.