Forgotten when the PM has spoken: BJP


New Delhi: The BJP is keen on making Prime Minister Manmohan Singh speak on the missing coal scam files and give an explanation on how and when the files went missing when he was incharge of the coal ministry. But the Congress has made it clear that Singh would not speak and that it is the prerogative of the Government to decide who would give an explanation to the House.
Opposition leader in the Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley rubbed it in when he told a TV channel that he and the House has forgotten when the Prime Minister had last spoken a few words.
He agreed with Sitaram Yechury of the CPM who told the Rajya Sabha that the minister who was incharge of the files which went missing should give an explanation and not Coal Minister Sriprakash Jaiswal whose name is linked with one of the coal block allottees whose name is said to have figured in the missing files.
The Opposition is determined to make the Prime Minister speak on key missing files. The Opposition led by the BJP has made it clear that it won't allow both Houses to function till Singh makes a statement on how the crucial files related to the allocation of coal blocks to private companies went missing.
The opposition alleges some of the files were under the custody of the PM when he was in charge of the coal ministry and some allocations were made to companies linked to Congress leaders.
If the Houses do not function, the Food Bill will lapse if it does not get Parliament's approval before August 30, when the ongoing Monsoon session ends. This is likely to create a huge embarrassment for the ruling Congress.
DC reports: The Central Bureau of Investigation, probing the Coalgate scam, suspects that around 157 private companies were allegedly eliminated irregularly to favour the ineligible beneficiary companies in the allocation of captive coal blocks.
Among the key missing files are copies of 157 private companies who had applied for the captive coal blocks but were not allocated the same.
“Despite repeated reminders by the CBI, coal ministry has not provided copies of 157 private companies which had applied for 45 blocks between 1993 to 2005. This issue was discussed even in a high level meeting called to examine the non-availability of files or documents related to  allocation of coal blocks, chaired by the additional secretary (coal) on July 16 at the ministry’s office in Shastri Bhawan,” sources said.
Sources further said that the only reply the agency sleuths got from the coal ministry was that it had requested all ministries concerned or departments to help trace the missing records.
However, sources said the agency would not register any case with regard to the missing files suo moto and would wait a formal reply from the ministry.
Meanwhile, with the Opposition targeting the government missing files issue, top Congress leadership including party president Sonia Gandhi and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh  and coal minister Sriprakash Jaiswal attended a core group  meeting in which it was told that several files were traced and only eight remained untraced.
Jaiswal is understood to have given a detailed briefing on the issue.  He is understood to have said that 769 files and other documents were given to the CBI by the coal ministry, sources said.

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