Congress Reacts to Allegation of BJP Leaders
Chidambaram says Prime Minister's statement should be debated in parliament.
NDA Allies Agrees to Discuss on Prime Minister's Statement in Lok Sabha, Says Reports
Main BJP leader Arun Jaitley termed Prime Minister's statement on the CAG report as "an assault on Constitutional authorities."
According to the latest reports, NDA allies agreed to discuss on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's statement on alleged scam in coal block allocation in Lok Sabha on Tuesday.
Premise of CAG is Flawed, Says PM Manmohan Singh
Manmohan Singh urged the Opposition to cooperate in functioning of the Parliament, saying that: "There are other important technical issues which will be gone into thoroughly in the Ministry of Coal's detailed response to the Parliamentary Accounts Committee (PAC).
"Let me humbly submit that, even if we accept CAG's contention that benefits accrued to pvt companies, their computations can be questioned," Singh siad. Appropriate action on the recommendations and observations contained in the report will follow via the established parliamentary procedures.
"The UPA I Government, for the first time, conceived the idea of making allocations through the competitive bidding route in June 2004," said the PM. "There were no allegations of impropriety in the functioning of the Screening Committee."
"The CAG says that bidding could have begun in 2006 by amending the existing system administratively. This premise of the CAG is flawed," said Singh.
I Take Full Responsibility for Ministry's Decision, Says PM on Coal Allocation
The unrelenting Opposition parties refused to allow regular business in Parliament and created ruckus in Lokh Sabha, thus interrupting Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in his address to the Parliament on Monday.
The main opposition, BJP, is firm on its stance of not allowing any room for debate on the CAG report over the alleged loss in allocation of coal blocks.
Amidst the uproar in the House, the Prime Minister read his statement saying "I seek the indulgence of the House to make a statement on issues regarding coal block allocations."
"I wish to say that any allegations of impropriety are without basis and unsupported by the facts," he added. "The observations of the CAG are clearly disputable."
"I want to assure Hon'ble Members that as the Minister in charge, I take full responsibility for the decisions of the Ministry," said the Prime Minister.
The BJP has been demanding for the resignation of the incumbent Prime Minister, following the CAG report that calculated a loss of 1860 billion to the exchequer owing to the lapses in the coal block allocation process between 2004 and 2009.
The government auditor conducted audits on the initiatives starting 2004 in coal allocation and augmentation of coal production. The CAG report indicated that government's move in not restoring to the competitive bidding of coal blocks has caused the whopping monetary loss to the exchequer.
BJP leaders were also said to have indulged in lobbying with its non-allies and like-minded parties in a bid to overthrow Manmohan Singh from his Prime Minister post. The attempts of the saffron party to raise the front against the Prime Minister had worked in its favour to some extent.
Reports suggested that AIADMK and Telugu Desam Party (TDP) share the similar interest over the resignation of the Prime Minister based on the CAG report. The NDA-ally, Shiv Sena are also backing the BJP in this regard.
However, Bahujan Samaj Party, the Samajwadi Party and the Left leaders have taken a discrete stand on the issue in not calling for the Prime Minister's resignation.
On the other hand, some of the NDA allies appeared reluctant to take BJP's side in demanding Singh's resignation. JD(United) and Akali Dal said that the Prime Minister should be allowed to say his side of the story on the coal block issue.