Coal scam is ‘monumental’, says BJP; targets PM

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COALNew Delhi, September 2: Main opposition BJP on Monday once again targeted Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in Rajya Sabha on missing files pertaining to coal mines allocation saying the scam is “monumental” and demanded that he clarify on it.

Raising the issue during Zero Hour, Prakash Javadekar (BJP) said two days back the Prime Minister said he was not the custodian of files whereas the Opposition believed “he is not only the custodian of files but also the custodian of the nation but not performing both the tasks well.”

“It is a monumental scam and occurred when the Prime Minister was the Coal Minister…PM should give a statement on this,” Mr. Javadekar said, demanding to know whether any FIR was lodged in the missing files issue despite the Supreme Court asking for it.

Amid attack over missing files pertaining to allocation of coal mines, Prime Minister had on August 30 said in Rajya Sabha, “I am not the custodian of files in the Coal Ministry.”

Dissatisfied with the reply, Mr. Javadekar launched a scathing attack on the government saying it “is doing a massive cover up” and sought Prime Minister’s statement on it.

He said unfortunately the Committee, formed by Coal Minister Sriprakash Jaiswal included a Joint Secretary level officer who is charged with changing the files with the CBI.

This is like handing over the keys of the treasury to the accused, Mr. Javadekar said adding, “CBI as well as the Coal Ministry has said before PAC (Public Accounts Committee) that all important files are missing…We demand don’t keep such people who were instrumental in changing the files.”

As he said that the scam has “smeared the face of the government” and continued to target Prime Minister, members from treasury benches countered him while BJP members shouted “shame-shame”{ .

Ravi Shankar Prasad (BJP) joined Mr. Javadekar saying, “There was a discussion on it but Prime Minister’s clarifications are pending. This is a monumental scam.”

Mr. Prasad said the Prime Minister should make a statement, which saw Minister of State Rajeev Shukla as well as some Congress members retorting that Dr. Singh has already replied twice on the issue.

Deputy Chairman P.J. Kurien interrupted saying, “It is not the fault of the Prime Minister. Prime Minister had come.”

However, BJP members kept shouting slogans like “PM jawab do” (PM reply) with Purushottam Khodabhia Rupala saying the party will continue to raise the issue of missing files till the time they were recovered.

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