The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Wednesday said Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh should take the final responsibility for the coal scam as the coal blocks allocation took place with his signature.
Continuing his criticism of the Prime Minister, BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar described the coal scam to be a monumental corruption. “I don’t know the full details of what the role of the Coal Secretary in that particular case or what he has said in detail. But the fact remains that coal scam is a monumental corruption and that time the Coal Minister was the Prime Minister. And so every coal allotment has happened with his signature and, therefore, he has to take the final responsibility. That is why we said that he has to quit, but he has not done so,” said Javadekar, while reacting to former Union Coal Secretary Prakash Chandra Parakh’s remarks that the Prime Minister should be accused number one in the coal scam case.
“The issue of CBI investigation in this manner, the way they are going ahead; I think it is being monitored by the Supreme Court and people will definitely expect that you are now putting whistleblower in the FIR, you are putting the whole secretary or officials who recommended that competitive bidding should happen that you are putting in the FIR. But the man who allowed this arbitrarily allotments without proper reasoning, without proper comparative appraisal, without mentioning the reason why somebody has been allotted and why the others are being rejected. So, without mentioning any reason, due diligence and comparative appraisal, if you are distributing in this fashion that’s a monumental corruption,” he added.
Javadekar further said the Congress Party is known for such corruption, and added that the nation has seen multiple scams of millions of crores. Parakh, who has been named in the latest chargesheet filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) along with industrialist Kumar Mangalam Birla and his company, yesterday said that if the CBI smelt a conspiracy in allocation of coal blocks then the Prime Minister should be an accused too since he signed off on the decision.
The 1969 batch IAS officer of Andhra Pradesh cadre, who was appointed Union Coal Secretary in March 2004, remained in that post till he retired in December 2005. The CBI yesterday filed FIRs against Kumar Mangalam Birla and Parakh for alleged irregularities and criminal conspiracy in allocation of two coal blocks in Orissa in 2005. The CBI, which has now filed 14 FIRs in this case, carried out coordinated searches at offices of the Aditya Birla group in Mumbai, New Delhi, Hyderabad and Bhubaneswar yesterday.
The BJP has held the Prime Minister responsible and demanded his resignation for an estimated loss of Rs 1.86 lakh crores to the national exchequer by the CAG in connection with the coal block allocation. The CAG report does not indict the Prime Minister or his office, but the BJP is emphasising that the Prime Minister held direct charge of the coal ministry for the years under scrutiny.