Former coal secretary P C Parakh’s remarks against prime minister Manmohan Singh on the coal scam gave fresh ammunition to BJP which on Wednesday demanded he step down immediately as he is equally culpable in the scam since all decisions were taken with his consent.
The opposition also made public its ire over the FIR against Parakh, widely seen as the whistleblower of the coal blocks allocation scam, and said the official is being targeted by CBI even though he is the one who had moved a Cabinet note suggesting the allocations be made through the auction route.
“Today a surprising development has taken place where in a bizarre instance an FIR has been lodged against the officer who suggested that the auction route should be adopted in coal block allocations and even prepared a Cabinet note on it,” BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar said.
The BJP MP claimed that instead of accepting the proposal, given by Parakh in 2004, the Manmohan Singh government had deliberately kept the Cabinet note in cold storage so as to enable it to allot coal blocks arbitrarily. The BJP alleged Congress was working with the intention of committing a scam and hence did not accept the suggestion for competitive bidding. “Right from day one, BJP has been demanding the prime minister’s resignation as he was the then coal minister under whose signature and seal the monumental scam happened... BJP reiterates its demand for his immediate resignation because the buck stops with him,” Javadekar said.
Javadekar said that by targeting Parakh, the government is threatening the top bureaucrats to keep quiet.