Coal blocks allocation: PM has no right to silence, says BJP
New Delhi: Keeping up its attack on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in the alleged faulty allocation of coal blocks, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Monday said maintaining silence is a privilege not available to the head of government.
"The government has not given any response to the series of allegations in the coal allocation. The prime minister has invoked his right to silence... A right to silence is available to an accused in court, it is not available to a prime minister," Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley told a group of journalists here.
The prime minister, in a statement read to media last Tuesday, had read a couplet saying his silence was better than answers.
"He is the holder of the most accountable office... accountability and silence cannot co-exist," Jaitley said.
The BJP leader was commenting on the ongoing protests in the allocation of coal blocks, which according to Comptroller and Auditor General Report cost the exchequer nearly USD 37 billion. Manmohan Singh was holding the coal ministry for a major period during which 142 coal mines were allocated.
Jaitley also asserted that there was no change in policy on demanding prime minister's resignation.