Gadkari sends legal notice to Digvijaya

Last Updated: Sat, Sep 15, 2012 11:04 hrs

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Nitin Gadkari has sent a legal notice to Congress General Secretary Digvijaya Singh for his alleged remarks on a particular coal block allocation, media reports said on Saturday.

Singh had alleged that Rajya Sabha MP Ajay Sancheti was given coal block in single bidding due to his closeness with Gadkari.

Earlier on Friday, party sources said Gadkari was all set to sue Singh for defamation for his alleged remarks.

Singh said Sancheti is Gadkari´s business partner.

"Ajay Sancheti, BJP MP and close aide and business partner of Nitin Gadkari has been given coal block in single bidding while no allocations are done in single bidding leading to losses in crores," Singh was quoted as saying to media.

Both the BJP and Sancheti, however, have denied Singh´s allegations.

The BJP and the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government have exchanged barbs over the coal block allocation issue in the recent time.

Pertinently, the Inter Ministerial Group (IMG) on coal has recommended de-allocation of four coal blocks, said the Ministry of Coal on Thursday.

"Recommendations have been accepted by the Government," it said.

Indian Parliament could not function the entire monsoon session over the demand of the PM´s resignation and cancellation of licences of coal blocks and an independent probe into the coal scam.

The coal report of the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) has pointed finger at the loss-making coal block allocations when the portfolio was held by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

The report by the CAG said 25 private companies received benefits of around Rs 1.86 lakh crore through of coalblock allocations in various states.

The IMG in its meeting held on Wednesday deliberated upon the cases of five companies which were allocated eight coal blocks and recommended four blocks, namely - Bramhadih Block allocated to M/s Castron Mining Limited, Chinora and Warora (Southern Part) Blocks allocated to M/s Fieldmining and Ispat Limited, Lalgarh (North) Block allotted to M/s DOMCO Smokeless Fuels Pvt. Limited, for de-allocation and deduction of Bank Guarantee in case of Marki Mangli-II, III and IV Blocks allocated to M/s Shri Virangana Steels Limited.

It also recommended that in the case of Utkal B2 Block allocated to M/s Monnet Ispat & Energy Limited, where there was substantial progress but no provision for BG, the allocattee may be asked to submit BG amounting to three years royalty within a period of one month from date of letter in this regard failing which the block may be deallocated.

IMG has been reviewing progress of coal blocks deliberated upon the action to be recommended in individual cases.

The IMG had earlier heard the coal block allocattees who were invited to make presentations from Sept 6-8, and also obtained a status paper from Coal Controller/Ministry of Coal.

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