Coalgate: UPA govt stands by Law Minister Ashwani Kumar



Zee Media Bureau

New Delhi: The UPA government on Friday rejected Opposition's demand for the resignation of Law Minister Ashwani Kumar, in the wake of the CBI filing an affidavit in the Supreme Court today admitting it had shared the draft status report on coal scam with the government.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath rejected the Opposition demand even as Law Minister Ashwani Kumar said he had done no wrong and that "the truth will prevail".

"The UPA chairperson and the PM have just had a meeting with UPA allies. The discussions centred around the non-functioning of Parliament and unacceptable demands of the Opposition parties," Kamal Nath told reporters here.

He added that there was no question of the Law Minister's resignation.

The minister said the Supreme Court will decide on the affidavit, while sources added that the government will wait for the SC decision till April 30 when the next hearing in the case is due.

"The CBI director clearly said that only the draft status report was shared... not the final report," Kamal Nath said.

He said much of the content of the report is provided by the Coal Ministry. The PM also held the coal portfolio for some time, he added.

Kamal Nath further said "for the past nine years the BJP has been demanding PM's resignation every three months. Let them win polls and come to power".

Setting off a political bombshell, CBI director Ranjit Sinha today submitted before the SC that the agency's status report on coal allocation scam was "shared" with the Law Minister "as desired by him" and that senior officials of PMO and Coal Ministry had also seen it.

Sinha's two-page affidavit filed on the direction of the apex court contradicts the claim made by CBI counsel on the last date of hearing that the coal scam report was not shared with any member of the government.

"I submit that the draft (status report)of the same was shared with Law Minister as desired by him prior to its submission before the Supreme Court....It was also shared with one joint secretary level officer each of Prime Minister's Office and Ministry of Coal as desired by them," the affidavit said.