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Coal-gate: Mulayam leads dharna outside Parliament

Last updated on: August 31, 2012 11:11 IST

Coal-gate: Mulayam leads dharna outside Parliament

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Onkar Singh in New Delhi

Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav on Friday joined ranks with the Left parties and Telugu Desam Party to press for a judicial probe by a sitting Supreme Court judge into coal-gate scandal

SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav began his dharna in front of the Gandhi statue in the Parliament complex along with leaders of eight other political parties. TDP chief Chandrababu Naidu, who flew in to New Delhi on Thursday night, will also take part in the protest.

The parties want that the Houses be allowed to function and a debate be held on the controversial allocation of coal blocks to 142 influential parties that the government's auditor says has caused a loss of Rs 1.86 lakh crore to the national exchequer.

For the seventh day on Thursday, Parliament was adjourned early. The Lok Sabha, however, managed to pass two Bills before chaos forced an adjournment.

With Agency Inputs




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Coal-gate: Mulayam leads dharna outside Parliament

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Mulayam Singh Yadav's party had earlier demanded an explanation from the government on the coal block allocations, but stopped short of embarrassing the Congress by aligning with the Bharatiya Janata Party on the issue.

He is now talking about forging a third force to emerge as a possible alternative to both Congress and the BJP.

CPI-M leader Basudeb Acharia said he had spoken to leaders of Biju Janata Dal and the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam 'who said they will also participate in Friday's dharna'.

"Our attempt is to unite non-NDA, non-UPA parties to demarcate ourselves from BJP and Congress, both of which are involved in corruption relating to mining and therefore do not want a debate in Parliament," he said.

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Yadav's announcement of bringing together non-NDA Opposition on the stalling of Parliament comes a day after his party's government in Uttar Pradesh passed an order for providing interruption-free power in Amethi and Rae Bareli districts on the request of Congress President Sonia Gandhi.

Observers feel that there has been a kind of flip-flop in SP's attitude towards the Congress.

The SP, which supports the UPA government from outside, however, fought the Congress vehemently in UP where it captured power earlier this year. 

Later the party came to the rescue of Congress during the Presidential election when it was almost cornered by another ally Trinamool Congress.

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The SP first joined hands with West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to announce the names of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, former President A P J Abdul Kalam and former Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee, only to ditch the TMC chief two days later by backing Pranab Mukherjee as the Presidential candidate.

This short-lived bonhomie with Banerjee was preceded by Yadav's high profile attendance at the third anniversary celebrations of the UPA-II government at the Prime Minister's residence.

After some special recognition at the bash, Yadav had declared that he was with the UPA on the Presidential polls only to surprise everyone when he came out in support of Banerjee's candidate briefly.

The Opposition has often alleged that Congress uses the CBI to rein in Yadav whenever SP's support is needed.

Yadav and his kin are facing charges of holding disproportionate assets and the agency is probing the matter.

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