BJD leader demands CBI probe into coal block allocations



Bhubanesar: Demanding a CBI probe into the role of Odisha government in coal block allocations to private companies, senior BJP leader Bijay Mohapatra on Saturday alleged that the BJD government did not follow norms.

"The BJD government headed by Naveen Patnaik is not above suspicion. The government maintained no procedure while recommending names of private companies for coal block allocations. Recommendations were made for private companies having no MoUs with the state government," Mohapatra told reporters here.

Mohapatra said that though 334 applcations were made for coal blocks, the state government recommended names of only 52 companies, including those which did not have MoUs with the state government.

"What is the parameter of selecting beneficiaries? Was there a screening committee or whether the companies technical partners and financial base was verified before making such recommendations," Mohapatra asked.

The senior BJP leader claimed that the state government recommended coal block allocation for Jindal Steel and Power Limited (JSPL) on February 2, 2009, a day before the Election Commission of India held a meeting of political parties for the general elections.

"The state government also made recommendation in favour of Tatas for a coal block on July 24, 2008," he said.

Alleging that the state government had violated its own Industrial Policy Resolution, the BJP leader and former minister questioned the motive of the chief minister as both recommendations were made prior to the general elections in 2009.

PTI