Bring in no-trust, Congress challenges BJP on coal gate

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Dubbing the coal blocks allocation controversy as a 'non-issue', Congress on Saturday challenged the BJP to bring in a no-confidence motion against the UPA government instead of stalling Parliament proceedings.

The BJP would not be bold enough to take such a course of action as it would not only expose its 'true colour' but also fissures in the party-led NDA, Congress spokesman and JPC chairman P.C. Chacko told a meet-the-press programme here.

It would be fair on the part of the opposition to "bring a no-confidence motion against the UPA government instead of immobilising Parliament on a non-issue," he said.

"It is the duty of the responsible opposition to show readiness to discuss the report of the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) on the presumptive loss of Rs 1.86 lakh crore in allocation of coal blocks," Chacko, who heads the Joint Parliamentary Committee probing the 2G scam, said.

"However, it is not desirable in a democratic set-up to demand the resignation of a democratically elected Prime Minister, accusing him of corruption, based on the CAG's findings of presumptive loss," he said.

Chacko said BJP knew that if a discussion on the issue was held in Parliament its 'true colour' would be exposed as the party-ruled states had strongly opposed competitive bidding on the ground that it would adversely affect their revenues.

"If a discussion on the CAG report is held in the Parliament, BJP's true colour will be exposed and the Prime Minister will emerge clean in Parliament," he said.

BJP would never bring a no-confidence motion against the government, as even NDA partners would not support it, he said.

Chacko accused the BJP of following a 'policy of disrupting proceedings' in Parliament on non-issues ever since it lost power in 2004 but Congress would do its 'best to expose the double standards' of the principal opposition.

When asked about reports that BJP might consider en masse resignation of its MPs if the Prime Minister did not quit, Chacko said Congress was not afraid of facing a mid-term poll, but that question did not arise at all in the present political situation.

He said some NDA partners had shown readiness to have a discussion on the CAG report and hence Parliament would function normally from Monday.

Questioning CAG's competence to arrive at conclusions of presumptive loss, he said CAG was bound to audit the income and expenditure of the government and public sector units with real figures and vouchers.

"The question is if CAG could reach certain conclusions based on presumptive loss."

To a question on the progress of JPC's probe into the 2G scam, he said only two-third portion of the work had been completed and one more extension would be required.

JPC's tenure would expire in December, he added.

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