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PM using law minister as a shield on coal-gate: BJP

Last updated on: April 28, 2013 14:30 IST

PM using law minister as a shield on coal-gate: BJP

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Attacking Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on the coal block issue, the Bharatiya Janata Party on Sunday announced its plan for a two-day agitation in all state capitals from May 4 against the government's "abominable attempt" to "cover up the massive corruption".

"An abominable attempt is being made by the Congress government to cover up the corruption that has surfaced in the coal issue. BJP has decided to take this fight against corruption and massive cover up from Parliament to the people of the country," party spokesperson Prakash Javadekar told reporters.

"We will hold demonstrations in all state capitals on May 4 and 5 on the issue and submit a memorandum to the governors," he said.

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Image: Union Law Minister Ashwani Kumar


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BJP to launch two-day agitation from May 4

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Rejecting the prime minister's strong defence of Law Minister Ashwani Kumar, the BJP leader alleged that Singh was "using" the latter as a "shield" to protect himself.

"The law minister did it with the direct consent and order from the prime minister. So the prime minister's complicity and culpability is also very established. He (Kumar) looked at the CBI report at the instance of the PM.

"The prime minister says that the law minister will not resign. He is using the latter as a shield and, hence protecting him. Singh fears that if the law minister goes, the next to be in the firing line will be he himself," Javadekar said.

The BJP leader said his party will organise "massive protest rallies" across the state capitals on both days to highlight "how the government is engaging shamelessly in the massive cover up".

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Image: An activist from Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha, wearing a cut-out of India's Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, lies on a heap of charcoal during a protest in New Delhi
Photographs: Reuters

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'What right does PMO's joint secretary have to look at CBI's report?'

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"The prime minister says that by not allowing Parliament to function, we are making mockery of our system of democracy and the whole world is laughing at us. The fact is that they are laughing at us for the corruption in the country and how attempts are being made to cover it up.

"We want to ask the prime minister. Is it not a fact that you have signed on the (papers for) allocation of coal blocks in whatever cases have come to light in the coal scam? We completely reject the prime minister's statement that the law minister will not resign," Javadekar said.

Javadekar said this was yet another proof of how Congress is "tampering with the evidence" and wants to protect "those who tamper" with the evidences.

"We want to ask what right the PMO's joint secretary has to have a look at the CBI's report. We want to ask what right the joint secretary of coal ministry has to demand the CBI report. CBI's probe itself is about coal scam, which was born in the coal ministry. In what capacity they were screening the CBI report?

He wondered why the Central Vigilance Commission, whose report led to the CBI probe into the issue, has not demanded to see the report so far.

"This is enough. You have not been given a license to loot," the BJP leader said.

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Image: Worker at a coal mine
Photographs: Jayanta Dey/Reuters

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'Congress responsible for Parliament not functioning'

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Invoking the architect of anti-Congress movement Jayprakash Narayan, Javadekar said the party will go for a similar fight against corruption and immorality this time as was witnessed during the period of JP.

He also noted that even the allies of the government are preparing for elections and opposing the government as they do not want to share the blame for the UPA's misdeeds.

The BJP leader also put the blame on the Congress and the government for the non-functioning of Parliament, saying that BJP is ready to discuss all issues but for that the government has to "take action (into the coal scam), (the law minister has to) resign and withdraw the JPC report".

"If Parliament is not running, it's not us but the Congress is responsible. They do not want discussion and hence do not allow Parliament to run because they have to engage in covering up this massive corruption," Javadekar said.

He also insisted that the Opposition party has the right to demand a discussion under what rule they want.

To a question on the government reaching out to BJP for the passage of key finance bills, he said, "first, the government has to answer why they did what they have done till now."




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