Coalgate: Opposition demands PM's resignation

Last Updated: Tue, Apr 23, 2013 06:35 hrs

New Delhi: While parliament witnessed a pandemonium on Tuesday and was adjourned over the coal scam and the CBI report where the Union Law Minister allegedly tried to intervene with the language of the same, the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) demanded that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh must resign over the entire episode.

"The Prime Minister must resign for the interference with the CBI report and for dragging the name of former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee in it," said BJP senior leaader Murli Manohar Joshi.

The BJP made it clear that there would be no cooperation from the NDA side with the government inside parliament.

Parliament was adjourned till 12 noon on Tuesday over the ruckus over coal scam, 2G scam and rising cases of rape.

Both the houses of the Parliament were disrupted over several issues on Monday and a similar ruckus was expected on Tuesday with report on allocation of coal blocks likely to be tabled by a standing committee.

The report is likely to cause a damage to the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) as it indicts the government for irregularities in distribution of coal fields.

Media reports citing sources said the report has recommended the cancellation of all coal blocks allotted between 1993 and 2008.

Infact, the reports also say that the recommendations were drafted since the government did not follow the procedures while granting coal blocks to firms during this period.

The report has pointed out that the allocation and supply of coal blocks between 1993 and 2004 did not follow a transparent bidding system and the Coal Ministry had "arbitrarily" given away coal blocks.

Meanwhile, top Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) officers are expected to explain in writing to the Supreme Court whether the agency's report on "Coal-gate" was reviewed by the government before it was submitted to judges last month.

The hearing by the apex court is due on Friday, where CBI Director Ranjit Sinha is likely to admit that Union Law Minister Ashwani Kumar did make some changes to the language of the document.

However, he will also admit that the essence of the report was not altered but was changed in language to protect the government, media reports said citing sources.

The Supreme Court has reportedly asked the agency to provide in writing whether the report was reviewed by any political executive before it was handed to the judges.

However, the admission of the CBI is likely to cause a great deal of damage to the UPA government as the agency's investigations are meant to be independent and unbiased.

The allegation against the government in the country's biggest coal scam is that thousands of crores were spent in the process of allocation of coal blocks, as the government did not follow a transparent bidding system.

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