New Delhi: The Congress Friday rejected as “unwarranted” the BJP’s demand for the resignation of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh over coal block allocation and accused the opposition party of double standards.
Party spokesperson Manish Tewari, addressing newspersons, said the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) followed a different policy for coal allocation in party-ruled states and therefore its demand for the prime minister’s resignation was “unwarranted”.
The BJP Friday demanded Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s resignation over the alleged irregularities pointed out in the CAG report in the allocation of coal blocks between 2006 and 2009 when he held the coal portfolio.
Calling it one of the biggest scams of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government, Bharatiya Janata Party leader Sushma Swaraj said: “We want the prime minister to resign but there is no need for a JPC.”
The CAG report said the exchequer could have been richer by Rs.1.85 lakh crore ($37 billion) if competitive bidding, rather than arbitrary allotment, was adopted to give coal blocks away.
BJP alleged that “this scam” is bigger than the Rs.1.76 lakh crore 2G spectrum allocation scam.
Meanwhile, Congress chief Sonia Gandhi held a “strategy meeting” with senior ministers and party leaders at her residence. Defence Minister A.K. Antony, Finance Minister P. Chidambaram, Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal and Minister of State for PMO V. Narayanasamy attended the meeting.
Three CAG reports — on coal allocation, development of Delhi airport by GMR-led DIAL and ultra mega power project of Reliance Power Ltd — were tabled in parliament Friday.