Coalgate: Deadlock to continue in last week of Monsoon session



New Delhi: After two weeks of paralysis, the storm over the Coalgate issue is expected to wipe out even the last week of Monsoon session of Parliament resuming Monday with no apparent signs of resolution of the deadlock.

BJP, which has been demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in the wake of the CAG report on coal block allocations speaking of undue benefit of Rs 1.86 lakh crore, is unrelenting in its campaign.

Congress President Sonia Gandhi had reached out to Leader of Opposition Sushma Swaraj to end the deadlock. During the telephonic conversation between the two leaders last night, Swaraj said the government should announce cancellation of the controversial coal block allocations and order an independent inquiry.

An unrelenting BJP said it would continue pressing for its demand for the Prime Minister's resignation inside and outside Parliament.

The opposition NDA has been further emboldened by protests from Samajwadi Party, TDP and Left parties against the government on this issue.

"While there have been demands for the resignation of the Prime Minister and a high-level inquiry, now the common minimum denominator is cancellation of the coal block allocations as Samajwadi Party, the Left parties and everybody is demanding it," BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar told a news agency.

He maintained that a majority of those in Parliament are demanding cancellation of coal blocks which is a major development. "Protest (in Parliament) has become people's protest and nation's protest," Javadekar said.

A truce is more unlikely now with Sonia going abroad for a week, reportedly due to her illness. By the time, the Congress president returns the Monsoon session would be over.

"There will be no let up. We will further intensify our fight inside and outside Parliament," BJP spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain said.

Asked if BJP would allow passage of some crucial bills, he said, "This is not a question of bills but of the nation. Our fight will continue."

The government is also firm on its stand with Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal saying no wrong has been done and there is no question of cancellation of coal block allocations.

A washout of the Monsoon session, in such circumstances, is almost a certainty now.

PTI