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Coal-gate: BJP prepares for nation-wide campaign

Last updated on: September 4, 2012 21:04 IST

Coal-gate: BJP prepares for nation-wide campaign

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With the Monsoon session of Parliament set for a washout, BJP has started preparations for launching a "sustained" country-wide campaign to target the government over corruption issue including the controversial allocation of coal blocks.

In this context, top BJP leaders are "educating" their workers so that they could inform people about the issue and the party's position.

Addressing one such session in New Delhi on Tuesday, Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj told workers that the party will continue its protest till the allotments of coal blocks are cancelled and auctions are announced.

"We will continue our protest till these allocations are cancelled. Government must announce auction to prove that the money out of previous allocation has not gone into the kitty of the Congress party," she said.

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Photographs: Courtesy BJP website

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Asking the party cadre to gear itself up for a "sustained battle" against the Congress, she said, "We all must arm ourselves with logics and facts regarding this issue. It is being discussed (coal controversy) everywhere and we must ensure that the culprit is punished."

Referring to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's reply last week over this issue, where he recited a couplet saying that his silence is better than thousand questions, Swaraj said, "He cannot escape our questions by reciting poems. This is one scam in which Congress party and Prime Minister are directly in the dock."

On her telephonic conversation with Congress party chief Sonia Gandhi last week, she said, "Sonia Gandhi had asked me to suggest ways to end this deadlock in Parliament. I  told her that the only possible way to do so is to cancel these allocations. She had said that she will put this suggestion before the Prime Minister."

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Photographs: Courtesy BJP website

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For the first time the allegation of corruption has fallen on Congress, otherwise the blame was on its allies in all such previous cases, she said.

Swaraj further alleged that the benefits of coal block allocations have gone to several key Congress leaders.

"Coal block has been allocated to Naveen Jindal. People like Subodh Kant Sahay and Moti Lal Vohra had given their recommendation to private parties," she said.

She also alleged that the screening committee set by the government to allocate these blocks had formed joint ventures on its own and claimed that huge sum of money was exchanged during the process.

"Mota maal (huge sum of money) was exchanged during the JVs which were formed by the screening committee. With scams like CAG, 2G and now coal, it seems government is trying to break its own previous records in conducting scams," she said.

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Photographs: Courtesy BJP website

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Swaraj also told the cadres on the timelines related to allocation of these coal blocks.

"The policy for auctioning and competitive bidding of coal blocks was formed in 2004. The draft bill was prepared by the government in 2006 and it was presented in Parliament in 2008. The bill itself was passed in 2010 but till this date no mining activity has been conducted at these sites," she said.

She also mentioned that the CAG draft report on coal block suggested a loss of Rs 10 lakh crore to the public exchequer, "but the government asked the CAG to remove PSUs from its list. Even then the loss is at 1.86 lakh crore."

"When we ask the Prime Minister why he does not want to cancel these allocations, he says it will result into loss of GDP and revenue to public exchequer. But no mining activity has been conducted in these blocks, so where did the money go finally if not to the Congress kitty?" she asked.

Swaraj also referred to the cancellation of petrol pumps during the NDA regime after reports of alleged scam.

"It is not the first time that such allocations will be cancelled. It has happened earlier also during cancellation of petrol pumps. We wonder what vested interest this government has," Swaraj said.


Photographs: Courtesy BJP website
Tags: CAG , NDA , BJP , Swaraj , GDP

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