BJP demands SIT probe into coal scam



Panaji: BJP Sunday demanded constitution of an SIT to probe into coal block allocations as the party does not have faith in CBI, which will have to investigate the role of Prime Minister's Office among other things in the case.

"In light of the fact that action of PMO has to be inquired into, CBI's investigation will never meet high standard of credibility. The recent track record of CBI is also not much encouraging. BJP does not have faith in CBI as the agency takes orders from Central government," Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha, Arun Jaitley, said.

Expressing doubts about credibility of CBI investigations into 'Coalgate', Jaitley said the party wanted the probe on the lines of Justice M B Shah Commission which investigated instances of illegal mining across states.

The Commission report, tabled in Parliament recently, put the illegal mining turnover in Goa at Rs 35,000 crore, and blamed former chief minister Digambar Kamat and mining officials, Union Ministry of Environment and Forests, and Indian Bureau of Mines (IBM) for not taking action.

"I am afraid the agency inquiring into coal block allocation (CBI) does not have that level of credibility," Jaitley said.

He said the party stands firm on its demand for resignation of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in connection with the coal scam and will take to streets to highlight it.

"The party is meeting on September 13 to decide its future course of action in this matter," Jaitley said, adding "the party will go to the root of the matter so that nature of these allotments and kind of people involved can be exposed."

PTI