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Cong in Chhattisgarh takes on BJP for coal block allocation

Source : BUSINESS_STANDARD
Last Updated: Mon, Sep 03, 2012 19:22 hrs

The United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government under scanner for coal mines allotment has saviors in Chhattisgarh. For, local body of Congress has launched a scathing attack on the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in power in the state.

Taking the fight to the streets, as the BJP has designed elsewhere against UPA government, the Chhattisgarh Pradesh Congress Committee (CPCC), here, is planning the suit. The Congress workers will gherao the chief minister’s house on Tuesday demanding his resignation for allotting coal block to BJP Member of Parliament (MP) Ajay Sancheti’s firm in Sarguja district.

“There is no base in the allegations of the Congress leaders as the state government has not allotted any coal block to the SMS Infrastructure (Sancheti’s firm),” Chairman of Chhattisgarh Mineral Development Corporation (CMDC) Gourishankar Agrawal said. The SMS Infrastructure is only a partner in the joint venture company former by the CMDC, which has bagged the coal mine, he added.

Agrawal explained that the CMDC is the major partner with 51 per cent stake and has control over the company. The JV was also formed only through the national bidding in which two companies including SMS Infrastructure qualified, he said, adding that there was no question of giving coal block to the company as CMDC had full control over it.

The Congress party that is in Opposition in the mineral-rich state is however not convinced with the BJP leaders’ explanation. The Congress leaders said that the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) had indicted the Chhattisgarh government on the coal block issue and hence it was not claim innocence.

“If the CAG report is the base of seeking Prime Minister’s resignation, then Chief Minister Raman Singh shall also put in his papers as the CAG report claimed a financial irregularities of more than Rs 1,000 crore,” CPCC General Secretary Ramesh Varlyani said. The Congress party will launch a series of agitation against the BJP government starting with chief minister’s house gherao on Tuesday afternoon, he added.

Varlyani added that the Prime Minister wanted to debate on the CAG report on the floor of the House but in Chhattisgarh, the BJP government avoided the same on the floor of legislative assembly.

With the Congress leaders going offensive against the BJP in Chhattisgarh, the move is seen as a counter of Delhi development where the UPA government is facing opposition’s volley.



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