Have given all substantial files: Coal Minister to CBI
Zee Media Bureau
New Delhi: With the Opposition blocking the functioning of Parliament over the issue of missing files pertaining to coal block allocations, Union Coal Minister Sriprakash Jaiswal on Thursday said that his Ministry has handed over all important files to the central probe agency.
The Coal Minister, in a letter sent to the CBI, said that the Coal Ministry has handed over all substantial files to the investigating agency since it had sought as many as 225 files pertaining to the coal block allocations.
Meanwhile, the government also today postponed the discussion in Rajya Sabha on the missing coal files till 2 pm tomorrow.
The development came shortly after the government announced that it will hold a discussion over missing files in Rajya Sabha today and, if required, the Prime Minister might give a clarification on the issue.
This was announced by the Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Rajeev Shukla.
The development is important since the Opposition has been disrupting the proceedings in Parliament over the issue as it is not satisfied with the replies given so far by the Union Coal Minister.
The Congress government is keen on getting the crucial Food Security Bill passed in the ongoing session of Parliament, which has been extended by one more week till September 05 due to disruptions by the Opposition members.
If the crucial Food Security Bill does not get Parliament`s approval in this session, the crucial "pro-poor scheme" will lapse.
"Prime Minister may also intervene in case it is required," Shukla told the House, which saw a brief adjournment after it met for the day.
He said that in response to demands by Leader of the Opposition Arun Jaitley and several members. Coal Minister Sriprakash Jaiswal had made a statement on the issue on Tuesday.
"Some clarifications were sought (and) clarifications were given. (However) it remained inconclusive. We are ready to conclude that discussion and if necessary Prime Minister may also intervene," he said.
The response came after Jaitley said the Opposition was not convinced by Jaiswal`s statement and Prime Minister should give clarification.
"Prime Minister is in the House... Prime Minister should give his reaction," he said as Singh watched the proceedings from his seat.
V Maitreyan (AIADMK), who had given a notice for suspension of Question Hour, said missing of important files has been termed by CBI director as a "serious setback" to investigation.
The CBI director had stated that "you can draw your own conclusions" when asked if there was a conspiracy in files going missing, Maitreyan said, adding this was a serious issue and "Prime Minister necessarily needs to intervene and clarify the matter."
Earlier, when the House met Ravi Shankar Prasad (BJP) said Jaiswal should not have made the statement as it was in conflict of interest since he was arbitrator in deciding on a family feud in AMR Co, which was a beneficiary of coal block allocation.
Earlier in the day, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath had said it would not be appropriate to ask Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to make a statement in Parliament about the missing files relating to the allocation of coal blocks.
"The Prime Minister is not the custodian of files. Why should he reply? If they (opposition) want, the Coal Minister will reply," Nath had said while speaking to a television news channel here.
"I think this demand (by the opposition) is not appropriate. We have a minister and it is his direct responsibility to reply in Parliament," he said.
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