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Coalgate: ‘Govt. followed due procedure of law’, says Bansal

New Delhi, Sep 3 (ANI): Asserting that the government followed due procedure of law in allocation of coal blocks, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal on Monday alleged that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is stubborn in its approach to disrupt parliamentary proceedings for its basic concern is to seek Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh’s resignation.

Bansal said that 75 percent of people want the Parliament to function smoothly without any disruption.

“The BJP is obdurate and stubborn in its approach, their basic concern is to seek the resignation of the Prime Minister. The government can’t oblige them, the government has a responsibility to perform,” said Bansal.

“All the licenses which were issued by following a due process of law in which there was the concurrence of the concerned chief ministers, who belonged to the BJP-run states. Those (licenses) cannot be cancelled at this juncture. It is an irresponsible statement,” he added.

Bansal termed the BJP’s demand to cancel coal blocks allocations completely baseless, and aimed at misleading the people of the country.

“As far as the ones in which no progress has been made, the milestones have not been met as per the lease agreements signed by the lessees with the state governments; the process has been initiated to take appropriate action,” said Bansal.

Bansal said that the CBI is already looking to the cases where it is found that license was obtained on misrepresentation of facts. ” So, this demand is without bases and is only to mislead the people,” he added.

The BJP had earlier on Sunday agreed to allow a discussion in Parliament on Coalgate provided the government cancelled coal licenses and ordered an independent probe into the allotments.

However, the BJP made it clear that it will stick to its demand for Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s resignation on the issue.

Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha, Sushma Swaraj, yesterday said when Congress President Sonia Gandhi spoke to her, she had made it clear that coal block allocations must be cancelled and an independent probe ordered.

“I told Soniaji that coal block allocations be cancelled and an independent and fair probe ordered. “If you agree to both these demands, then we can start the discussion and Parliament can function,” Swaraj told mediapersons in Mumbai.

“We have not backtracked on Prime Minister’s resignation. We stick to our demand that Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh should resign accepting moral responsibility in the coal block allocation scam,” she added.

Meanwhile, both houses of Parliament were today adjourned till noon over the BJP’s demand for the Prime Minister’s resignation on the coal blocks allocation issue.

The BJP is demanding the Prime Minister’s resignation since he headed the Coal Ministry between 2006 and 2009, when many of the sales occurred.

However, Dr. Manmohan Singh has rejected the CAG’s observations as ‘misleading’ and ‘flawed’, and blamed the opposition parties for thwarting the efforts of his government to bring a policy of competitive bidding.

Dr. Singh also ruled out any possibility of quitting the top post despite the BJP repeating its demand for his resignation over the coal blocks allocation issue.

Interaction with mediapersons onboard the special plane while returning to New Delhi from Tehran after attending the 16th NAM summit, Dr. Singh said that he can’t get into a war of words with political leaders, and added that he has to maintain the dignity of the office of the Prime Minister. (ANI)