Cloudy
6°CSun :Rain. High: 9 Low: 2

Missing coal files: PM to make statement in Parliament

Missing coal files: PM to make statement in Parliament

New Delhi: After the Government relented to pressure by the Opposition in the Parliament, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will speak over the case of missing coal block allocations files in the Parliament on Friday.

Although the government did agree to ‘an intervention’ by the Prime Minister in the matter, it remains to be seen whether PM’s involvement in the debate can break the deadlock in both the Houses.

The intervention comes at a time when the Government is desperate to pass its ambitious Food Security Bill in the session curtailed largely due to adjournments.

Earlier, asserting that “the government has nothing to hide and nothing to conceal” in the missing files matter, parliamentary affairs minister Kamal Nath had said in the Lok Sabha that the Prime Minister “can intervene” in a debate on a statement by coal minister Sriprakash Jaiswal on the issue.

“The coal minister will make a statement. Thereafter a discussion can be held in the House in which the Prime Minister can intervene,” Nath said after a strong demand by opposition parties.

A similar indication was given in Rajya Sabha by minister of state for parliamentary affairs Rajeev Shukla after AIADMK members stalled Question Hour seeking response from the Prime Minister on the issue. “Prime Minister may also intervene in case it is required,” Shukla told the House which saw a brief adjournment soon after it assembled for the day.

Opposition has been stalling Parliament over the issue of files related to coal block allocations going missing and has been pressing for a statement by the Prime Minister to end the stand-off.

Prior to Nath’s assurance, the Lok Sabha saw unanimous demand by opposition members seeking clarification from the Prime Minister on the missing files.

Leader of the opposition Sushma Swaraj said the files belonged to the period when “the Prime Minister was in charge” of the coal ministry from 2006 to 2009.

“From the very beginning, we wanted the House to function. But that does not mean we will allow the government to do whatever it likes…We request you (Speaker) to ask the government to urge the Prime Minister to clarify on the issue to make the House run,” Swaraj said.

In the Rajya Sabha, leader of the opposition Arun Jaitley said, “Prime Minister is in the House…Prime Minister should give his reaction.”

Responding to him, Shukla said Jaiswal made a statement on the issue on Tuesday. “Some clarifications were sought (and) clarifications were given. (However) it remained inconclusive. We are ready to conclude that discussion and if necessary Prime Minister may also intervene,” he said.

CPI leader Gurudas Dasgupta made the same demand and alleged that the files contained information on “important persons” and they went missing in an attempt “to cover up the whole operation and ensure that those guilty are not punished. It is a serious offence.”

Terming the coalgate issue as “the biggest scam ever in the country, amounting to a loss of Rs 1.86 lakh crore,” Basudeb Acharia (CPM) wanted to know whether the government had lodged an FIR to find out who was responsible for the files going missing.

AIADMK’s M Thambidurai sought a clarification from Singh, while JD(U) chief Sharad Yadav wanted the government to find a “middle path” to allow the House to function.

V Maitreyan (AIADMK), who had given a notice for suspension of Question Hour in the Rajya Sabha, said missing of important files has been termed by CBI director as a “serious setback” to investigation.

“The Prime Minister necessarily needs to intervene and clarify the matter,” he said.

Earlier, Ravi Shankar Prasad ( BJP) alleged that Jaiswal should not have made the statement as it was in conflict of interest since he was arbitrator in deciding on a family feud in a company which was a beneficiary of coal block allocation.

 

Top Stories

x26-1427364866-vikasswarup.jpg.pagespeed.ic.yW5f92qABg

Vikas Swarup, the Oscar winning ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ author selected as the new MEA representative

March-27-2015
Noted writer Vikas Swarup, who made his presentation with the success novel “Q&A” (on which Slumdog Millionaire was based) is the new
24244827

Now shop on Flipkart, Snapdeal on zero investment EMIs

March-27-2015
India’s eCommerce space is buzzing with new dispatches and key declarations in the most recent two days. On Tuesday, we heard how
KTM-Duke-200

Bajaj Pulsar RS200 Vs Hero Karizma ZMR and KTM Duke 200

March-27-2015
The most recent portion in Bajaj Auto’s tremendously anticipated arrangement Pulsar – RS200 – has been dispatched at Rs. 1.1 lakh (non-ABS
322166-arvind-kejriwal-prashant-bhushan-yogendra-yadav-sketch

AAP Crisis : Kumar Vishwas asks Bhushan and Yadav to quit nimbly

March-27-2015
Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Kumar Vishwas on Friday approached senior gathering pioneers Prashant Bhushan and Yogendra Yadav to leave the gathering
A portrait of the Facebook logo in Ventura

Facebook talks up requirement for virtual reality, huge tech wagers

March-27-2015
Virtual reality, counterfeit consciousness and automatons will empower Facebook Inc to make a more similar and helpful informal community, the organization said
Jadeja-Dhoni-1-AFP1

India had a dazzling World Cup: If Times Now can’t see that, they don’t know cricket

March-27-2015
India might never again be one-day title holders yet MS Dhoni and his happy men in blue have issued us numerous motivations