BJP to take Coalgate 'from Parliament to streets'
New Delhi: On the day Parliament was adjourned sine die, Leader of the Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj on Friday blamed the government for the chaos and vowed to take coal blocks allocation issue to the streets.
Addressing a press conference, Swaraj noted that disruptions in Parliament began after Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) report on coal blocks allocation was tabled.
Sitting along with Swaraj, Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley said that coal block allocation was discretionary, arbitrary and to put it simply, done corruptly.
On Friday, a month-long Monsoon Session, which witnessed 13 days of disruption in 20-day session, ended. The last day's proceedings too were disrupted by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) over the coal issue. The BJP-led NDA earlier in the day held a demonstration in Parliament House complex demanding Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s resignation, cancellation of coal blocks, and a fair probe.
Other opposition parties also joined the protests over various issues, including the alleged involvement of a central minister from the DMK in the coal block allocations that the Comptroller and Auditor General said caused a presumptive loss of Rs 1.86 lakh crore (USD 37 billion).
Defending her party’s disruptions, Swaraj said her party had already told the Speaker that it would allow Parliament to function if coal blocks allocations were cancelled, but the government ignored its demands on coal block allocation row.
Hitting at the government, Swaraj said that government’s numerical strength in Parliament doesn't give it a licence to loot.
“Custodians of national wealth looted the country. The PM is responsible since he signed the papers,” she added.
Reacting to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s speech after the Monsoon Session ended in which he said that Opposition has completely disregarded the set norms of Parliamentary democracy, Jaitley termed it unfortunate that ending corruption and fixing coal blocks allocation wasn’t in the PM’s priorities.
Tagging coal blocks allocation as the biggest scam of all, Swaraj said that the government’s corrupt face has been exposed.
She further vowed to take coal fight to the streets, adding when coal block allocations are auctioned they will make more than Rs 2 lakh crore. The BJP core group will meet on September 13 to discuss how to take the issue to the people.
Alleging that allocations were made to businessmen and politicians linked to the UPA, Jaitley said the matter is a text book case of crony capitalism.
Sushma alleged that the government was casual in its response to Assam crisis.
She said that Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde read a suo motu statement on the issue and did not respond to the points raised in debate.