The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Tuesday welcomed the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) raids in connection with the coal blocks allocation issue, and pressed their demand for Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh's resignation.
BJP spokesperson Rajiv Pratap Rudy said it is fair that the CBI has started its investigation and conducted some raids over the coal blocks allocation issue.
"The BJP had said that the coal block allotments should be cancelled; possibly this is heading for that. This is some indication of the BJP's stand that corruption in allotment has been there. But what about the Prime Minister? What about the person who has appended his signature on the allotments? Is he also liable or not culpable?" asked Rudy.
"And if Raja (former Telecom Minister A. Raja) can be picked up as he was involved; what about the Prime Minister and other ministers who were the state ministers? " he asked.
Rudy, however, said that it was impossible for the CBI to conduct an impartial and independent probe, as the Prime Minister was in charge of the coal ministry then.
"But how do you expect the CBI to do an impartial probe because this period pertains to the period when the Prime Minister was the Coal Minister of India. How can you expect an impartial probe when the Prime Minister is in the chair? That is exactly what the BJP is asking," he added.
Meanwhile, Union Coal Minister Sriprakash Jaiswal used the CBI's latest move to target the BJP, saying it would be better to have the comments of those questioning the credibility of the apex investigation agency.
"My comments do not matter on Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) raids. What can I say? You can take the comments of those who always try to defame the CBI. You should ask them about the raids," said Jaiswal.
The CBI, which is investigating whether companies misreported their financial or technical qualifications to be granted coal fields in possible collusion with government officials, filed First Information Reports (FIRs) earlier today against five private firms who were allocated coal blocks in Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh.
The agency sleuths were also conducting searches at 30 places in ten cities, including New Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Patna, Hyderabad, Dhanbad and Nagpur.
The filing of FIRs comes three months after registration of a Preliminary Enquiry into the coal scam by the agency on the directions of the Central Vigilance Commission. (ANI)