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Coal-gate: PM must face Parliament, says CPI

August 25, 2012 20:33 IST
The Communist Party of India on Saturday asked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to "face Parliament" and said the government must own up responsibility for the huge loss to the nation on the coal block allocation issue.

"The prime minister must face the Parliament especially when it is in session. Disruption does not mean that he would not come to the House," party National Secretary D Raja said in New Delhi.

He said the government and the prime minister "must own up political, moral and administrative responsibility for the huge plunder of national resources, causing huge loss to the nation and helping corporates to make profits".

The CPI-M earlier said it would decide its strategy on the coal block allocation issue on the basis of a statement the PM may make in the Parliament on the matter.

It demanded a clarification from Dr Singh after the CAG said the coal block allocations by the government had led to extending undue benefits of Rs 1.86 lakh crore to private parties.

CPI-M leader Sitaram Yechury said the PM, if he makes a statement in the Parliament, should clarify why the government did not implement its own decision of allocating coal blocks through competitive bidding and whether it would book all those responsible for giving away the blocks without bidding between 2005 and 2009.

"Depending on that clarification, we will take the next course of action. On that basis, we will take the issue forward," he had said.

Referring to the disruption of the Parliament, Yechury had said "a possible way" to break the logjam was that the PM holds talks with Leaders of Opposition of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha and appeals to the principal opposition BJP, saying that a discussion would follow after he makes a statement in the House.

This, he said, should be done without wasting any time and a solution should be found out before Singh leaves for NAM summit on Tuesday.

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