Monsoon session stares at washout
PM gears up to rebut charges but BJP adamant on his exit; Sinha dares govt to initiate CBI probe.
Unresolved impasse in Parliament over ‘coalgate’ threatened to leave the rest of the monsoon session unproductive as the BJP remained admant on resignation of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
Despite its isolation, the BJP stood its ground that the PM should own responsibility for the national auditor’s finding of Rs 1.86 lakh crore in the allocation of coal blocks to private firms without bidding.
The BJP sought to ignore the mood of allies like the Janata Dal(U) and other opposition parties who wanted a debate and not disruption, which would enter its second week from Monday.
On its part, the government decided to unveil its strategy when the Houses resumed sitting resumed on Monday.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh would like to make a statement if the Houses functioned, failing which, he could address the nation, Congress sources said.
The PM was stated to be geared up to rebut the charges, contending that there were “inaccuracies” in the “misleading” assessment of loss of R1.86 lakh crore. In fact, a six-point response was stated to be ready, in which the PM would be citing that then non-UPA ruled states for opposing a legislation on auction process in 2005.
Senior BJP leader and former finance minister Yashwant Singh on Sunday said his party was ready to face a CBI probe if any of its governments’ recommendations turned out to be malafide.
“If there has been a malafide allocation of coal where the state government may have made a recommendation, please go ahead and make an inquiry,” Sinha told Karan Thapar in Devil’s Advocate programme on CNN-IBN.
Meanwhile, leader of the Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj’s plans for non-UPA parties' meeting to rope in support was unstuck. Confirming this, CPI leader Gurudas Dasgupta criticised the BJP for its stiff stand and for stalling Parliament and said it “undermined” parliamentary democracy.