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Coal-gate scam: BJP praises Cong's 'entrepreneurial skills'

Last updated on: September 11, 2012 19:15 IST

Demanding a probe into fresh reports in the allocation of 142 coal blocks by United Progressive Alliance government, the Bharatiya Janata Party on Tuesday said it is "truly amazing" that relatives and associates of union ministers have made such gains soon after the latter occupied the high offices.

"It is truly amazing that the entrepreneurial skills of the kith and kin of UPA ministers shine only when the brothers are ministers," said BJP spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad.

He targeted Coal Minister Sri Prakash Jaiswal and one of his predecessors in the ministry, Santosh Bagrodia, on the issue. Reports said Bagrodia's brother got a coal block allocation worth Rs 23,000 crore while Jaiswal had allegedly helped a company in getting a similarly lucrative contract.

"BJP demands that the huge contract worth Rs 23,000 crore to the then Union minister Santosh Bagrodia disregarding the claim of a PSU -- Singareni Coal Fields -- needs to be properly investigated," Prasad said.

He expressed surprise that the claims of Singareni Coal Fields -- which had also bid -- were ignored.

BJP also attacked Jaiswal, citing documents to allege that he had helped the Darda group in coal block allocations.

"Sriprakash Jaiswal had recently said all Jaiswals are his relatives. I won't say anything on this but some Jaiswals are definitely close to him. Was he an arbitrator in the dispute of one Manoj Jaiswal in 2008? In what capacity was he an arbitrator? Manoj is involved with Abhijeet group, with which the Darda brothers are also connected," Prasad said.

Charging that the kin of several influential Congress leaders as well as those of its allies were involved, BJP named Subodh Kant Sahay, Vijay Darda and his brother Rajendra, Manoj Jaiswal, Prem Kumar Gupta, S Jagatrakshakan and Madhu Koda as beneficiaries of the coal scam.

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