Bhubaneswar: The Congress party Thursday slammed the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for “misleading the nation” on the issue of coal block allocation and stalling parliament to keep its “misdeeds under the carpet”.
“The BJP is misleading the nation. They want to keep under the carpet their misdeeds,” Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) V. Narayanasamy told reporters here.
Describing the demand for Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s resignation as “unjustified”, the Congress leader said the BJP should first ask its own chief ministers to resign as they were opposed to the competitive bidding of coal blocks.
“They (the BJP chief ministers) are party to the decision-making. They (BJP) should tell their chief ministers to resign,” he said.
He also gave examples of how some chief ministers of BJP-ruled states and the chief minister of Odisha which is ruled by Biju Janata Dal had recommended coal blocks in favour of particular companies.
Citing an example, he said Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik recommended that some coal block previously given to a company be cancelled and given to Jindal Steel and Power Ltd (JSPL). The company is owned by Congress MP Naveen Jindal.
“What is the personal interest of the chief minister in that? It has to be investigated,” the Congress leader said.
When hundreds and thousands of people wanted coal blocks, why only one company you (Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik) are choosing? There is something behind it. That will also be investigated by the CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation),” he said.
Patnaik had allegedly written to the prime minister in 2002 seeking allocation of a coal block in the state to JSPL.
The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG), in its report, has said that private players had windfall gains worth Rs.1.86 lakh crore in the 142 coal blocks allocated to them.