Published September 2, 2012 | 11:37 am
New Delhi: BJP leader L.K. Advani Sunday described Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s defence of the coal blocks allocation as “totally unconvincing”.
In his latest blog, Advani pulled up Manmohan Singh for blaming chief ministers for his decision to allot coal blocks to private players without competitive bidding.
He said if the government agreed to the opposition’s demand to scrap the allocations and auction the coal blocks afresh, the real price of the coal mines would become known.
Advani came to the defence of Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh.
In a May 2, 2005 letter, Raman Singh has asked the central government to share the revenue earned from competitive bidding of coal blocks with state governments.
“Raman Singh is fully justified in demanding a share in the revenue earned… How can this be cited as opposing auction?” Advani asked.
The BJP leader noted that “it is universally acknowledged that allowing discretionary allocation of precious resources like spectrum, oil, gas and minerals gives ample scope to people harbouring corrupt and collateral intentions”.
The BJP has been disrupting parliament the last two weeks demanding the resignation of the prime minister after the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) report on coal blocks allocation had claimed a presumptive loss of Rs.1.86 lakh crore ($38 billion).
Manmohan Singh was in charge of the coal ministry for most part of the time covered by the CAG report.