UPA minister got coalmine: BJP
Opening a new front in the coal war on Tuesday, the BJP accused Union tourism minister Subodh Kant Sahai of managing to get coal blocks allocated to a company through the Prime Minister's Office.
But Sahai immediately hit back, saying the saffron party was trying to malign him.
The BJP also alleged that the allocation was done promptly after Sahai approached the PMO.
It said producing documents that on February 5, 2008, Sahai wrote to the PMO for the Prime Minister's "personal intervention" for allocating two coal blocks in Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand for SKS Ispat and Power Ltd.
The party produced another letter written by a PMO official next day to the coal secretary for "action as appropriate" on the matter.
And a list released by the government in Rajya Sabha shows that SKS Ispat got the Fatehpur coal block the same day the coal secretary was approached.
Sahai said in 2009, the Delhi high court quashed a petition alleging that the minister's brother was involved with SKS Ispat, and that there was irregularity in coal block allocation.
"I can send the court's judgment to BJP leaders so that they can have a look at it."
Senior BJP leader Prakash Javadekar, however, said, "About the full form of SKS, I don't know", hinting at the minister's initials.
Sahai's office issued a press release that quoted the high court as saying: "It is clear that the initials SKS… do not stand for Subodh Kant Sahai…. Further, not a scrap of paper has been produced ... to prove that SKS Ispat was promoted by the family of Shri Subodh Kant Sahai."