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Cong, BJP colluded in coal-gate: Kejriwal

August 23, 2012 20:48 IST

India Against Corruption member Arvind Kejriwal said that along with the BJP and Congress, the Communist Party of India-Marxist and Biju Janata Dal also played a major role in the plunder of coal.

In a press statement issued by Arvind Kejriwal and his team at India Against Corruption, a massive protest has been organised on August 26 against not just Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, but also against Bharatiya Janata Party president Nitin Gadkari.

Kejriwal's team is of the opinion that both the Congress and the BJP are involved in the coal mines allotment scam, now known as coal-gate.

The team thinks the massive coal-gate scam took place with the collusion of both the Congress and the BJP.

The IAC press release says that a peaceful protest would be held at Jantar Mantar on Sunday from 10 am onwards followed by a gherao to demand the immediate cancellation of coal block allocation and setting up of an independent Special Investigation Team.

Kejriwal said that both the major parties have been closely involved in the Rs 1.86 lakh crore coal scam -- considered to be one of the major scams till date. He says that along with the BJP and Congress, the Communist Party of India-Marxist and Biju Janata Dal also played a major role in the plunder of this natural resource.

"While it is known that the central government allocated coal blocks to private players in an arbitrary manner even to underwear, cassette and gutka manufacturing companies, the role of various state governments in the allotment process is also highly questionable. On one hand, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh who was also the coal minster during 2006-2009, gave away coal block at throwaway prices to private companies without following a transparent competitive bidding process on the pretext that it would lead to cheaper electricity. On the other hand, heads of various state governments including former Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje Scindia (BJP), Chattisgarh CM Raman Singh (BJP), Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik (BJD) and former West Bengal CM Buddhadeb Bhattacharya (CPI-M) had written to central government advising against the bidding process," states Kejriwal.

Speaking on the issue, Kejriwal said, "Not only the Centre, but many state governments have colluded to plunder this country. If the total loss in this scam is estimated to be approximately Rs 2 lakh crore, and considering that there are six lakh villages in India, Rs 30 lakh was looted from each village."

Kejriwal's team alleged that, "The BJP kept on demanding the resignation of the PM knowing the fact that the UPA was never going to let that happen. If the opposition was really worried about the scam it would have asked for an open debate in the Parliament instead of focusing on the resignation of the prime minister. The resignation of the prime minister in no way would lead to unearthing the depth of the coal-gate scam but an independent investigation certainly would. On the other hand, if the UPA was serious about getting to the bottom of the issue, Rajiv Shukla (Union minister), instead of asking the deputy speaker to adjourn the house, would have asked for a debate ignoring the ruckus created by the opposition. Unfortunately, none of the parties raised their voice for this."

"The coal-gate scam has overtaken the 2G spectrum scam which was being considered the biggest scam so far. If the Supreme Court had recently cancelled licenses of private players in the 2G spectrum scam, why can't the licenses of coal blocks be cancelled? asked Kejriwal.

A Correspondent in New Delhi