Coal block allocations: Conspiracy behind BJP’s demand, says government

September 4th, 2012 - 10:07 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata Party New Delhi, Sep 4 (IANS) The government Tuesday said there was a conspiracy behind the Bharatiya Janata Party’s demand to cancel 142 coal blocks given during 2006-09 and also asserted that officials of the companies who violated allocation rules would go to jail.

“The BJP is demanding en masse cancellation of the coal blocks so the aggrieved parties can obtain a stay from the court later on,” Coal Minister Sriprakash Jaiswal told reporters here.

“The BJP does not want the inter-ministerial group to look into the performance of these companies,” he said.

On the CBI raiding premises of five companies who violated coal mine allocations, the minister said: “More violators would go to jail.”

He said the ministerial panel’s report would come by Sep 15 and the government would take strict action against all those who violated allocation rules.

“The companies and state officials would be held responsible for any lapses found by the IMG,” said Jaiswal.

He said the IMG, set up in May, was asked to give time bound report on the instructions of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who headed the coal ministry during the period the controversial allocations were made.

According to Jaiswal, the process in each of the 142 coal blocks have to be examined in detail and any cancellation of allocations en masse would have serious consequences.

According to a Comptroller and Auditor General’s report, private players had made windfall gains worth Rs 1.85 lakh crore in the allocation of 142 coal blocks during 2006-09 by the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government.

Jaiswal also questioned the BJP leaders who have said that no private players were allocated coal blocks during the NationaL Democratic Alliance rule (1998-2004) and said 16 out of 32 blocks went to the private companies.

“The BJP does its politics based on falsehood,” he said.

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