New Delhi: A day after the UPA government accused the BJP of unwillingness on its part to let Parliament function, the main opposition party hit back on Saturday accusing the ruling establishment of misguiding the nation on the coal block allocation issue.
The UPA government’s strategy is to misguide the people, senior BJP leader Arun Jaitley told a press conference, adding the same happened during the 2G spectrum allocation scam.
“The UPA tried to misguide then also with its zero loss theory,” Jaitley said, adding “(Finance Minister P) Chidambaram hasn’t learnt a lesson from his colleague Kapil Sibal’s mistake”.
“I don’t think Chidambaram will be able to mislead the people, except himself,” he added.
Chidambaram, along with Coal Minister Sriprakash Jaiswal and Law Minister Salman Khurshid, had said at a press conference yesterday that “if the coal is not mined and stays under mother earth, then where is the loss”.
To this, Jaitley countered by saying “when the coal blocks are allotted, the right to mine shifts and it now vests with 142 private allottees and not with the Government of India”.
“The coal under mother earth now does not belong to Mr Chidambaram,” the BJP leader added sarcastically.
“There’s a huge opportunity cost to the Government of India. The opportunity that the government could have exploited now rests with private players.”
“I am afraid to say Mr Chidambaram is not the best custodian of the public exchequer,” Jaitley said.
“If somebody were to embezzle money from Chidambaram's account, by the minister's logic he would not have lost the money till that person withdraws money from his personal account even after money have been transferred from the minister's account,” Jaitley said, countering the Finance Minister’s no loss argument.
It’s a fragile logic, he said.
Stating the UPA was losing confidence of the people, Jaitley said with this performance the UPA’s continuance is a zero sum game for themselves.
First Published: Saturday, August 25, 2012, 14:37