The Bharatiya Janata Party on Friday defended the washout of nearly the entire Monsoon Session of Parliament by the Opposition saying a similar exercise in 2010 on the 2G spectrum issue had led to cleansing of the telecom sector and hoped it will bring transparency in allocation of natural resources.
At a session-end press conference in New Delhi, Leader of the Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj and her Rajya Sabha counterpart Arun Jaitley attacked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and the UPA government for the reported anomalies in coal block allocations.
The BJP announced that it will take the fight to the streets and from "village to village" after not allowing Parliament to function.
The main opposition maintained it is not in favour of disrupting Parliament often and it should be resorted to in the "rarest of rare cases" but insisted that the 2G spectrum scam and now the coal scam demanded this.
"One session of Parliament has earlier been lost on account of corruption in allotment of 2G spectrum. That helped this country to cleanse the telecom sector. Hopefully, the long term gains of this session may enable future governments to clean up the process of allocation of natural resources," Jaitley said.
Terming the allotment of coal blocks as arbitrary and discretionary, he alleged that these took place "under the very nose of the Prime Minister who also held the coal portfolio" and are textbook cases of "crony capitalism".
The party suggested that the government institute a commission of inquiry into coal scam and the Prime Minister depose before it.
BJP leader M Venkaiah Naidu told reporters outside Parliament that the party will now go to the streets to make people aware of the government's "wrong doings" on various fronts.
"We are not demanding mid-term polls but we want the government to go. The reason being the government has not only failed on all fronts but is also deeply involved in corruption," he said.
Naidu said, "It is not one issue of 2G or coal allocation or CAG reports. (There have been) scam after scam and the government is neck-deep in corruption. We will go from Parliament to the streets now and tell people about it and create awareness in public."
Charging the government with "wrong doings", the BJP leader said, "The government has failed on the price front. Rupee value is going down, economy is in a very bad shape. So people of the country will be happy
Taking a dig at UPA allies, he said, "The parties which are talking of mid-term polls should first withdraw support to the government. They are supporting the government in the evening and talking of mid-term polls in the morning. That will not serve any purpose."
On coal block allocation issue, he said, "It is very clear that PMO has opposed the auction of coal blocks. Who made the allocation? It is the central government, it is PMO. So that is why this demand of resignation."
Naidu said, "We have tried our best to convince (the government) about the reasonable demand of cancelling the allocations and order a high-level inquiry. Then we said we are ready for a debate. But they did not agree."
The BJP leaders alleged that government had allocated coal blocks to politicians and business persons close to the UPA.
"Many (allottees) have nothing to do with either steel or power sectors. Many were name-lenders and renters. They used their political clout to get an allocation, either in their own name or in the name of a joint venture. And then they exited after a windfall gain," Jaitley alleged.
The party maintained that it was forced to disrupt Parliament as being the principal opposition it could not remain silent. "We used this session of Parliament to shake the conscience of the people of India and appealed to the government to correct the monumental fraud committed on public exchequer," Swaraj said.
The BJP will chalk out the contours of its plan for taking the issue to the people at its core group meeting next week. The party sees more potential of reaching out to the people and attacking the Congress-led UPA on the coal block allocation issue than the earlier the 2G spectrum scam which was esoteric and difficult to comprehend for the common man.
The opposition continued its tirade against the Prime Minister and maintained that either he himself or the PMO is the "kingpin" of the delay in implementing the auction system for allocating coal blocks. It referred to the minutes of a July 25, 2005 meeting in the PMO to claim that this "conclusively establishes" this allegation.
"They (PM and PMO) were aware of the fact that competitive bidding will only transfer the windfall gains to the government exchequer and not hike the power rates," Jaitley said.
The party alleged that cancellation of coal block allotments is "nowhere among the Prime Minister's priorities" and pressed for his resignation. BJP maintained that cancellation of these allotments will have a beneficial impact on the economy as auctions will bring more revenue.