No relation with coal scam-tainted company: Rajendra Darda



Nashik: Under pressure to quit his post after the CBI filed an FIR against him in the coal block allotment scam, Maharashtra minister Rajendra Darda on Wednesday said he no longer has any relation with the company booked by the investigative agency.

"I had purchased the company's shares worth Rs one lakh in 2006 and returned them in 2008, hence I have no relation with that company," Darda, younger brother of Congress MP Vijay Darda, also an accused in the case, told reporters on the sidelines of a Teachers Day function.

Among the five companies named in the FIR registered yesterday is JLD Yavatmal, which is said to be linked to the Darda family. The FIR accuses the Dardas of criminal conspiracy and misrepresentation of facts in securing the coal blocks in Chhattisgarh.

The Darda brothers, in association with the Abhijeet Group, also named in the FIR, planned to set up a thermal power project in Yavatmal for which they got the coal blocks. The project, named after Dardas' father Jawaharlal Darda, never took off.

"It is a good thing that the CBI is probing the (coal block allocation) case and I will face an inquiry if the CBI approaches me," Darda, whose absence from yesterday's meeting of the Maharashtra Cabinet had set off speculations about his resignation, said.

Several BJP workers led by city unit president Laxam Savaji staged a demonstration in front of Kalidas Kala Mandir, the venue of the function, to demand Darda's resignation after registration of an FIR against him.

PTI