The Congress may have been facing the heat for corruption until now, but a CAG report submitted in the Chhattisgarh assembly has turned the heat on the BJP.
The report states that the Raman Singh government caused a loss of Rs 1,000 crore to the state exchequer by allotting a coal block to a single bidder, SMS Infrastructure, run by alleged Nitin Gadkari-aide and businessman Ajay Sancheti, now a Rajya Sabha BJP MP.
The issue resulted in heated arguments on Tuesday, with the Congress taking the offensive and the BJP defending its party president. Congress leader BK Hari Prasad demanded the resignation of Gadkari and Raman Singh, besides a CBI probe into the CAG findings.
Chhattisgarh PCC president Nand Kumar Patel said the CAG report had brought the BJP's double standards to the fore.
The CAG report stated that SMS Infrastructure was favoured in terms of cost for the Bhadgaon-II Extension coal block exploration contract. The Congress has alleged that the Chhattisgarh government favoured Sancheti and Gadkari in the deal.
The BJP, however, said it "differs" with the CAG. "These allegations are baseless. Back then, Gadkari was not the BJP president and Sancheti was not an MP. Gadkari was the president of BJP's Maharashtra unit," BJP spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad said.
When asked to explain the "underpricing", Prasad said, "Bhadgaon-II Extension is an open cast mine, where mining costs less."