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HindustanTimes Thu,18 Sep 2014

BJP demands PM's statement on missing coalgate files

Agencies  New Delhi, August 20, 2013
First Published: 12:03 IST(20/8/2013) | Last Updated: 12:37 IST(20/8/2013)

The Opposition on Tuesday targetted Prime Minister Manmohan Singh demanding an explanation from him in the House connected to the missing files in the coal allocation scam.

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Coal minister Sriprakash Jaiswal on Tuesday said he was willing to face punishment if any of the allegations being made against him are proven true.

He added: "We will search for any files that are missing and hand them to the CBI. 13 FIRs were registered in the coal scam. 769 files have been submitted to CBI in the coal scam probe."

A committee led by additional secretary, coal ministry, is investigating how the files went missing, Jaiswal said.

Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, Arun Jaitley said, "This is a matter in which preferably the PM should make the statement."

He added that, "Files don't disappear, they are made to disappear," in the Rajya Sabha.

Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha, Sushma Swaraj said: "The PM should come to the house and explain how and where the files went missing, every missing file names Congress ministers, we expect a statement from the PM himself." amid slogans of "PM must answer" from the Opposition benches.

Rajya Sabha deputy chairman PJ Kurien said, "We can't hold anyone guilty on this basis. Its up to the government on who they want to make that statement. I cannot direct the government."

The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) report on coal block allocation stated that nearly 150 coalfields were allotted to private and state-run firms without transparency and objectivity between 2005 and 2009.

60 files are missing, of which 16 have been sought urgently by the CBI. The documents that cannot be traced reportedly explain the allocation process for 50 coal blocks.

However, the Prime Minister had rejected the CAG's observations as "misleading" and "flawed", and blamed the opposition parties for thwarting the efforts of his government to bring a policy of competitive bidding.

The last session of Parliament was paralysed with demands for the Prime Minister's resignation.


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