BJP stalling parliament to hide own secrets: Congress

September 12th, 2012 - 8:18 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata Party Kolkata, Sep 12 (IANS) In the wake of the alleged irregularities in coal blocks allocation, the Congress Wednesday launched a scathing attack on the Bharatiya Janata Party, accusing it of stalling parliament in a calculated move to prevent its “own secrets becoming public”.

“The double standards of the BJP is out in the open. While it accuses the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government of allocating coal blocks without competitive bidding, the states ruled by it have opposed when we decided to introduce the bidding process,” senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal said here.

“In a cool and calculated move, the opposition is evading discussions in parliament because it fears that its misdeeds in allocating the blocks in states where it is in power will come out in the public,” said Sibal, also the union human resource development minister.

Sibal quoted several letters written by past and present BJP chief ministers to buttress his claim that the party has been opposing tooth and nail the UPA’s effort to bring in competitive bidding in allocating coal blocks.

“It is the state governments that recommend the lessee of the blocks and the centre only gives the approval. Before questioning us, the BJP must answer why none of its chief ministers raised objections to the allocations made in the last eight years,” said Sibal.

He also gave an instance when on the insistence of a BJP chief minister allocation of coal blocks to a particular company was cancelled in favour of another and said: “There are many such examples. That is why they are shying away from discussions because they know they are the real culprits.”

“Since the private players to whom the block have been allocated cannot sell the coal, where is the question of them making windfall profits?” Sibal asked, rejecting the report of the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG), which said that private players had windfall gains worth Rs.1.86 lakh crore in the 142 coal blocks allocated to them.

Describing the BJP’s demand of cancelling the allocations of the blocks as “destroying India’s growth story”, Sibal said: “For energy you need coal. You cannot produce power for industry except through coal. And you are demanding cancellation of all the coal contracts?”

“Do you know how long it takes for a coal mine to produce minerals? Around eight years. You know how long it takes to set up a power plant? At least four-and-half years. If we cancel everything today, what will happen? You have to wait for another eight years. The nation is racing against time and industry will demand where is the power?”

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