Cloudy
17°CWed :AM Clouds/PM Sun. High: 24 Low: 14

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

43894569.cms

Bigg Boss 8: Deepshika’s group wins the Hijack errand, moves inside the new house

October-01-2014
The previous evening Bigg Boss 8 house saw some high voltage dramatization when Gautam Gulati lost his cool and disparaged co-hopeful Karishma
Tombstone

Orkut close down, clients asked to fare photographs

October-01-2014
BANGALORE: Google pulled the attachment of the once commended person to person communication site, Orkut, on September 30. Before Google wandered into
anilambanireuters2

Rcom to slice obligation to beneath Rs 20,000 cr in excess of 2 years; 4g take off in 2015

October-01-2014
Mumbai: Reliance Communications today said it plans to diminish its obligation to underneath Rs 20,000 crore in the following couple of years
home-minister-rajnath-singh-asks-to-revamp-crpf-to-fight-naxals

Home Minister Rajnath Singh asks to patch up CRPF to battle naxals

October-01-2014
NEW DELHI: Home Minister Rajnath Singh has requested a patch up of the lead energy against the Naxals, the Central Reserve Police
jaya-sept_350_092914121914

Jayalalithaa to stay in prison, court concedes safeguard hearing till Oct 7

October-01-2014
Giving no alleviation to imprisoned Tamil Nadu boss pastor J Jayalalithaa , the Karnataka high court on Wednesday conceded the hearing on
abacafoto_1430_30092014204502990_r_abc_20140930000000_a014006080012-jpg20141001022915

India, US vow to enhance ties, place it in composing

October-01-2014
India and the US on Tuesday promised to re-imbue force and warmth to their long-standing ties and “go past unobtrusive and ordinary