Kolkata: Continuing the government’s counter-offensive against the BJP on the coal block allocation, Union HRD Minister Kapil Sibal today blamed state governments and said they allocated the leases.
“When they have executed the lease deeds it is their responsibility. They are the ones who have chosen the lessee. And if you see the minutes of the screening committee and those will come to light very soon most of the recommendations have been made by state governments,” Sibal told reporters at the PCC headquarters here.
He said that Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik wrote to Ravi Shankar Prasad the then coal minister to cancel the lease of Talcher Mining Private Limited and give it to Jindal Steel and Power Limited. “Now who should resign?” Sibal asked.
Sibal released letters from the then BJP Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje of Rajasthan, Shivraj Singh Chauhan of Madhya Pradesh and Chief Secretaries of BJP-ruled Chhattisgarh and CPI(M) ruled West Bengal to argue that the states had a say in the allocation of coal mines and the blame was being put on the Centre.
He said that after 2008 there was no allocation of coal blocks and the chief minister or concerned officials of not a single coal-producing state complained about the methodlogy of allotments.