Coalgate: BJP sticks to PM’s resignation demand



Mumbai/Bhopal: Relenting a bit, BJP on Sunday agreed to allow a discussion on Coalgate provided Government cancelled coal licenses and ordered an independent probe into the allotments.

However, the party made it clear that it will stick to its demand for Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's resignation on the issue.

BJP, which has disrupted Parliament for most part of the Monsoon session insisting that it will not allow the two Houses to run if the Prime Minister does not step down, toned down a little.

Addressing a press conference in Mumbai, Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj said when Sonia Gandhi spoke to her, she had made it clear that coal block allocations must be cancelled and an independent probe ordered.

"I told Soniaji that coal block allocations be cancelled and an independent and fair probe ordered. "If you agree to both these demands, then we can start the discussion and Parliament can function," Swaraj said.

Swaraj's comments came against the backdrop of BJP facing isolation with several parties including the Left, Samajwadi Party, TDP and some others insisting that Parliament be allowed to function and the issued debated. NDA's key ally JD(U) also is keen that Parliament functions so that the Government can be "exposed" on the coal scam.

The BJP leader sought to scotch speculation that the party has gone back on its demand for PM's resignation.

"We have not backtracked on Prime Minister's resignation. We stick to our demand that Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh should resign accepting moral responsibility in the coal block allocation scam," Swaraj said.

Meanwhile, in Jaipur, party's national spokesperson Prakash Javadekar said that the party was determined to take the issue to streets across the nation and tell people about the several scams unearthed during the UPA tenure.

"We are not allowing the Parliament to function over the issue of coal block allocation because this is a 'movement' in public interest.

"We were adamant and the parliament did not function for 17 days over the issue of 2G spectrum scam last year and the outcome was in the favour of the country," he said.

Javadekar said that that PM should resign over the issue because he is directly responsible for the corruption, adding that it is also necessary for impartial probe in the scam.

"For face saving, the PM blamed chief ministers of BJP ruled states but we demand that the government should disclose the letters from all the chief ministers," he said.

Meanwhile, in Jaipur, party's national spokesperson Prakash Javadekar said that the party was determined to take the issue to streets across the nation and tell people about the several scams unearthed during the UPA tenure.

"We are not allowing the Parliament to function over the issue of coal block allocation because this is a 'movement' in public interest.

"We were adamant and the parliament did not function for 17 days over the issue of 2G spectrum scam last year and the outcome was in the favour of the country," he said.

Javadekar said that that PM should resign over the issue because he is directly responsible for the corruption, adding that it is also necessary for impartial probe in the scam.

"For face saving, the PM blamed chief ministers of BJP ruled states but we demand that the government should disclose the letters from all the chief ministers," he said.

PTI