Union environment minister Prakash Javadekar on Sunday alleged that the Congress high command did not allow former prime minister Manmohan Singh to go for auction route on coal blocks and that he was now paying for the "sins" of his party.
"Why Manmohan Singh landed himself in this trouble? Because Congress processes were non-transparent. I sometimes feel pity for Manmohan Singh because he wanted auction route for coal mining. But he could not muster courage to say this," Javadekar told reporters in Hyderabad.
The Union minister was reacting to queries on summons issued by a special CBI court against Manmohan Singh which made him an accused in a case related to the allotment of coal blocks during his term at the helm of previous UPA government.
"He (Manmohan Singh) was influenced and the Congress party and its high command did not allow him to take the auction route. So now he is paying unnecessarily for the sins of Congress. It is the Congress' sin, because Congress was sending letters of recommendations on whom to allot coal mines," the senior BJP leader alleged.
"It cannot be said that he (Manmohan Singh) is absolutely not guilty. You are in seat of power but you have not exercised your power and that is also guilt. He should have exercised his authority which he did not," he said.
Javadekar further demanded an apology from former Union minister and Congress leader Kapil Sibal for saying that former Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) Vinod Rai's report was sham and bogus with regard to estimates on "loss" figures of spectrum and coal auctions.
"Sibal said the CAG report is inflated and he said Rs 1.76 lakh crore (for telecom spectrum) and Rs 1.86 lakh crore (for coal) are bogus figures and this cannot be the loss, there was actually zero loss. But what has happened now, the first 32 coal mines (in ongoing coal block auctions) auctioned have fetched Rs 2 lakh crore revenue," he said.
When the auction of 200 mines is completed, it may fetch an estimated revenue of over Rs 7 lakh crore to even Rs 10 lakh crore, he said. "Those who were saying that there is zero loss now, they need to offer apology to the country. They should apologise because the transparent mechanism adopted by the Narendra Modi government (on coal auction) has given states thousands of crores of rupees. The Centre is not retaining even a single paisa out of it," Javadekar said.