Fair
8°CWed :Clear. High: 16 Low: 3

Congress ready with Food Bill, but BJP wants PM statement on missing coal files first

Congress ready with Food Bill, but BJP wants PM statement on missing coal files first

New Delhi: The ruling Congress came ready to push its flagship Food Security Bill in Parliament today, but the Bharatiya Janata Party made it clear – the house won’t run until Prime Minister Manmohan Singh himself explained how crucial files connected to the coal allocation scam went missing.

Sonia Gandhi, Congress president and UPA chairperson, was to make a rare speech in Parliament as the government made an all-out effort to push the Food Bill on the 69th birth anniversary of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi today.

The Congress was even ready to suspend its own MPs from Andhra Pradesh, if they continued to protest against a separate Telangana state.

But the BJP said it would not allow the Houses to function till the Prime Minister made a statement on the missing files on the allocation of coal blocks to private parties at throwaway prices.

Both Houses saw repeated adjournments today.

Coal Minister Sriprakash Jaiswal said he was ready for any punishment if he was proved guilty. “But what punishment will the Opposition take if they are proved wrong?” he asked.

“Files don’t disappear, they are made to disappear,” Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha, Arun Jaitley countered.

60 files are missing, of which 16 have been sought urgently by the CBI. The documents that cannot be traced reportedly explain the allocation process for 50 coal blocks.

The opposition said the coal minister’s statement was “unacceptable”, alleging a conflict of interest as one of the private allottees under the scanner was related to Mr Jaiswal.

“The PM should come to the house and explain how and where the files went missing, every missing file names Congress ministers, we expect a statement from the PM himself,” said Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha, Sushma Swaraj, amid slogans of “PM must answer” from the opposition benches.

On Monday, the Prime Minister had held long consultations to finalise last minute changes in the Food Bill and this morning, he also met Mrs Gandhi and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath to discuss the floor plan on the Food Bill.

The Bill, which aims at providing highly-subsidized food to nearly 70 per cent of India’s population at a cost of nearly Rs. 1.25 lakh crores, is expected to be brought in Parliament with more changes to appease opposition parties and some allies.

The Samjawadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party, which extend external support to the government have said they will support the bill, but seek amendments.

The Bill will lapse if it does not get Parliament’s approval before this monsoon session ends on August 30. The Congress is counting on it as a vote-getter as it seeks a third straight victory in national elections, due by May.

 

Top Stories

227436-priyanka

Priyanka Gandhi denies reports that she wished to contest against Narendra Modi

April-23-2014
Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, presently managing the campaign for Sonia and Rahul Gandhi in Amethi and Rae Bareli, was reportedly willing
money300

Black money may account for 1/3rd of Rs 30k Cr poll expenses

April-22-2014
New Delhi: As general elections draw closer, ‘unaccounted money’ may account for over tierce of total Rs 30,000 large integer calculable to
MalaysiaAirlinesPlaneTakeOff_large

Malaysia to issue death certificates in missing plane

April-22-2014
The Malaysian government can issue death certificates for passengers of missing Flight MH370 and supply monetary help to families still hanging onto
nexux

Google engaged on a budget Nexus smartphone

April-22-2014
Google has been in the news since last number of years for engaged on a budget Nexus smartphone. However, the items haven’t
fdf1cd30-c9db-11e3-9371-91f8250ebe24_IMG_8573

Bollywood celebrities support AAP

April-22-2014
  Bollywood celebrities support AAP After fielding screenland candidates like Gul Panag, Jaaved Jaffrey and Jaspinder Narula from various Lok Sabha constituencies,
muslim-s2

In geographical area, Muslims bitter but see few choices on the far side Cong

April-22-2014
In Maharashtra muslims are also sad regarding the means within which the state has “illegally detained” kids in terror cases. Muslims kind