Communist Party of India (CPI) leader D. Raja on Wednesday said that the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) and Dr. Manmohan Singh needed to be questioned by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in connection with the coal block allocation scam.
"It was PMO officials who got involved in vetting the affidavit, which was submitted in the Supreme Court. So, Prime Minister and Prime Minister's Office are all alleged to have some role in this entire scam," he said.
The Samajwadi Party, however, dismissed such demands saying that the country's Prime Minister should not be subjected to such investigations.
"I don't think such a thing would happen because there is no involvement of the Prime Minister and if the country's Prime Minister is probed then the concept of a government would be void. So, I don't think this should happen," said Samajwadi Party leader Naresh Agarwal.
The Congress Party came out in defence of the Prime Minister, and said that he has already clarified his stance in the Parliament.
"The Prime Minister gave his statement in the Parliament and also met leaders of opposition. We say that the proceedings of the Parliament should not be disrupted and the investigation in the coal scam must continue," said Congress spokesperson Meem Afzal.
According to reports, an officer investigating the coal allocation scam suggested that the Prime Minister should be questioned.
In Parliament yesterday, Dr Singh, who had earlier defiantly said that he is 'not the custodian of files', ceded to pressure from the opposition to make a statement on important documents that are needed for the CBI's investigation and have gone missing.
Dr. Singh yesterday assured the Rajya Sabha that the government is making all out efforts to trace the missing files on the coal block allocations.
Dr Singh said the government has nothing to hide in the matter, and asked the opposition not to draw hasty conclusions and let the House function smoothly. Dr Singh said a majority of over one lakh 50 thousand documents have been handed over to CBI.
He said it clearly shows the government's intention to facilitate the on-going enquiry, which is being monitored by the Supreme Court. The Prime Minister said the government has extended the fullest cooperation to the Comptroller and Auditor General in its performance audit and later to the CBI in its investigation.
Dr. Singh said the matter is sub-judice and the apex court has directed the CBI to prepare a list of missing documents required for the probe and gave two weeks' time to government to provide all documents to the investigating agency.
He said if the government is unable to trace them within the time frame given by the Supreme Court, it will order a CBI enquiry.
The BJP has held Dr. Manmohan Singh responsible and demanded his resignation for an estimated loss of Rs 1.86 lakh crores to the national exchequer by the CAG in connection with the coal block allocation.
The CAG report does not indict the Prime Minister or his office, but the BJP is emphasizing that the Prime Minister held direct charge of the coal ministry for the years under scrutiny. (ANI)