Mining deal: Cong demands Raman's resignation



New Delhi: Congress on Tuesday stepped up demand for the resignation of Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh in the wake of a CAG report indicting his ministry for allocating coal blocks at throwaway price to a company.

At a joint press conference at the AICC headquarters, party General Secretary B K Hariprasad, Chhattisgarh PCC Chief Nand Kumar Patel and CLP leader Ravindra Chaubey also sought to drag BJP chief Nitin Gadkari into the controversy.

They alleged that the company which has benefited by the allocations belongs to Nagpur based Rajya Sabha MP from BJP Ajay S Sancheti who is close to Gadkari.

Patel and Chaubey said that they have also sought the permission of the state governor for prosecution of the Chief Minister as also a former Chief Secretary for allegedly giving over 1,000 hectare land to the Sterlite company at "throwaway price".

It is alleged that it caused a loss of Rs 1,052 crore to the exchequer.

The state Congress leaders alleged that the mineral-rich state has become an "object of loot" through signing of MoUs for setting up power plants and claimed that 65 such MoUs seeking an investment of Rs 3.25 lakh crore have been signed.

The Chief Minister is "directly to blame" for the irregularities in the mining and power sectors as he is also the Minister in charge of these departments, they said.

Congress is pressing for a CBI probe into the allotment of coal blocks at cheap rates, which it alleges has benefitted a number of BJP office bearers including Gadkari, a charge denied by the BJP.

PTI