Cloudy
25°CSat :AM Showers. High: 32 Low: 22

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

pioneer-624x351.png

Pioneer launches AVIC-F60BT premium in-car navigation and entertainment system

July-25-2014
In-car entertainment systems company Pioneer has launched its premium audio-video system, the Pioneer AVIC-F60BT, in India. Pioneer, which has already promised to
INSRANCE_THINKSTOCK-624x416

49% FDI in insurance: What it means for customers

July-25-2014
The Cabinet’s approval to increase the FDI limit in the insurance sector to 49 percent is expected to benefit the companies first
images

Businessman buys Rajesh Khanna’s bungalow ‘Aashirwad’ for Rs 90 crore

July-25-2014
MUMBAI: Bollywood superstar Rajesh Khanna’s Carter Road bungalow, popularly known as ‘Aashirwad’, is being sold to a city industrialist. The landmark sea-facing
Kick-Review-650

‘Kick’ review: Strictly for Salman Khan fans

July-25-2014
When Sajid Nadiadwala decided to step into the director`s shoes, he pulled all stops. He has invested everything he could to make
sanjita-gold-740

Commonwealth Games: Lifters Sukhen, Sanjita win gold as India make rousing start

July-25-2014
Glasgow: Sukhen Dey and K Sanjita Chanu stole the limelight by clinching a gold each in weightlifting, as India launched their campaign
M_Id_477210_FM_Arun_Jaitley

India will not have to wait for bringing back black money: Jaitley

July-25-2014
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today said that India will not have to wait for long for bringing back the black money. He