Telugu Desam Party (TDP) chief N Chandrababu Naidu Tuesday said the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government had lost moral authority to continue in office in the wake of the CAG report on allotment of coal blocks.
The former Andhra Pradesh chief minister demanded Prime Minister Manmohan Singh immediately cancel the allotment of coal blocks and order a comprehensive probe into the whole issue.
Naidu criticised Manmohan Singh for finding fault with Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG), whose term he extended in 2011. He alleged the prime minister was not only trying to shield the guilty but was also undermining democratic institutions.
The TDP chief said the prime minister's statement that the CAG report could be contested in parliament's Public Accounts Committee, was ridiculous and go against the spirit of democracy.
"It is not proper on the part of the prime minister to say that he is helpless because there was no consensus on the issue. Such statements will embolden the elements which are looting the country's mineral wealth," Naidu told reporters here.
He recalled that the TDP had long been demanding a legislation to protect the country's natural resources for the coming generations.
The CAG report had pegged the losses to the public exchequer at Rs.1.86 lakh crore.
Naidu pointed out that former Karnata minister Gali Janardhana Reddy, who is currently in jail, acquired all the wealth from the iron ore mines allotted to him.
"There is no fear of law. They amass huge wealth, spend a few years in jail and come out to enjoy the ill-gotten money," he said and demanded stringent legislation to confiscate the assets of the corrupt.
On the possibility of mid-terms elections, Naidu said the polls were not an answer to the problem. "The pressure should come from the public to bring new legislation and to strictly enforce the existing ones," he added.
"It is a major issue on which all opposition parties have come together. We are closely monitoring the developments and analysing the role the TDP can play," he said when asked about the opposition stalling the Parliament.
Describing corruption as the biggest problem faced by the country, he said some people were looting the resources meant for eliminating poverty, for providing jobs and welfare of the people.