PM is ready with a reply on coal blocks allocation: Cong

New Delhi: With the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) insisting on his resignation over faulty coal blocks allocation, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is ready to make a strong rebuttal of the charges, Congress sources said yesterday.

They said the prime minister would seek to turn the tables on the opposition in his statement by pointing out that state governments of non-United Progressive Alliance constituents had given in writing that there should not be an auction of the coal blocks.

"The prime minister is ready with a reply," a party leader said.

Congress sources said the PM was likely to point out in his statement that the assessment of a loss of Rs 1.85 lakh crore by the CAG in the coal blocks allocation was misleading.

There was a feeling in the Congress that the BJP was deliberately stalling Parliament so as to prevent the prime minister from speaking on the issue.

The Congress has already rejected BJP's demand for the prime minister's resignation.

The house was adjourned for the second successive day Wednesday over Comptroller and Auditor General report on coal blocks allocation.

Congress sources said the prime minister was likely to point out in his statement that the assessment of a loss of Rs 1.85 lakh crore by the CAG in the coal blocks allocation was misleading.

They said that governments of Chhattisgarh, Odisha and Jharkhand and Rajasthan (under the rule of the BJP and it allies) and West Bengal (during the Left Front rule) had given in writing that there should not be an auction of the coal blocks.

Referring to the 2006-09 period when the coal portfolio was with the prime minister, Congress sources said that the CAG report had mentioned about 57 blocks but production had started in only one of them.

They said that the prime minister was also expected to negate the CAG contention that there was a delay about the law concerning auctions.

The sources said the prime minister was likely to point out that even normal legislative enactment took time because of inter-ministerial consultations and the framing of detailed guidelines.

IANS


Updated Date: Aug 23, 2012 08:53 AM

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