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Coalgate scam: Sonia Gandhi challenges BJP to ask for PM’s resignation (Update/Coal Scam)

New Delhi, April 23 (ANI): Congress Party president Sonia Gandhi on Tuesday challenged the opposition led by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to ask for the resignation of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh over his alleged role in the Coal Gate scam.

Interacting with media after a meeting of the core group of the Congress Party here, gandhi, when asked for response to the BJP’s demand for Dr. Manmohan Singh’s resignation, tersely dismissed the demand by saying:”Let them ask”.

The Congress Core Group meeting was convened immediately after Parliament was adjourned over the coal scam issue for half an hour in the morning.

The meeting reportedly discussed the strategy ahead in the wake of the opposition reiterating its demand for the government to come clean on the coalgate issue.

The BJP on Tuesday repeated its demand that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Law and Justice Minister Ashwani Kumar should own up responsibility for their roles in thescam and resign.

The BJP parliamentary party which met here under the chairmanship of L K Advani passed a resolution in this regard and charged the government with suppressing the truth from coming out in the coal scam.

The BJP had stalled Parliament proceedings on Monday over the issue and demanded that Kumar make a statement on his alleged role in vetting the CBI affidavit for the Supreme Court on the coal scam investigation.

“The BJP parliamentary party today has resolved that in the light of the series of scams and the present way in which the government has sought to suppress the truth from coming out, Dr Manmohan Singh must resign and the law minister Ashwani Kumar must be sacked,” BJP Deputy Leader in Rajya Sabha Ravi Shankar Prasad told reporters after the meeting.

He said the party has formally demanded that the PM must resign and the law minister be sacked.

Prasad said the party is of the opinion that the UPA government under Singh has “destroyed” and “subverted” every institution in the country.

“The UPA government first indulges in corruption and then subverts institutions to suppress the truth. It stands exposed before the country. The UPA government has forfeited its right to govern. BJP demands that the Prime Minister and the Law Minister resign immediately,” the BJP leader said.

Stepping up its attack, he said the government only wants a discussion on corruption and is not ready for any honest audit on it. He attacked the law minister, saying, “Since when does CBI need an English tutor like the law minister to correct the English of its affidavit.”

Prasad alleged, “The Prime Minister’s Office and the law minister have blatantly interfered in the functioning of the CBI while investigating the coal block allocation scam.”

In the Lok Sabha today, soon after Speaker Meira Kumar made a reference to Panchayati Raj Day, opposition members rushed to the Well raising slogans and waving placards on various issues. BJP members rushed to the Well demanding resignation of the Prime Minister over the issue of coal block allocations.

On Monday, Gandhi, addressing an alumni meet of NSU, asked partymen to fight back by not allowing its opponents “to get away with propagating negative impressions”.

“Why should we allow our opponents to get away with propagating negative impressions? You should ask them: “what have you or your party done to change things in our country ?” I have no doubt that they have no credible answer,” Gandhi said. (ANI)