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Last Updated : Aug 27, 2012 09:31 PM IST | Source:

Cancel 142 coal blocks and quit: BJP to PM

LK Advani calls Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's statement on coal blocks allocation disappointing. Advani says he should not have criticised the CAG.

3.55 pm: LK Advani calls Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's statement on coal blocks allocation disappointing. Advani says he should not have criticised the CAG.

3.41 pm: Arun Jaitley says, "There is no personal disrespect for the PM. However, we have used this opportunity to highlight the scam in coal blocks allocations."

3.32 pm: Sushma Swaraj says, "The policy was deliberately delayed by PM so that the Congress party could get undue gains."

3.29 pm: BJP demands SIT probe into the allocations.

3.20 pm: BJP leaders Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley say that the PM should cancel all 142 coal blocks and put them to competitive bidding. "Once you do that, the truth will come out."

3.08 pm: Arun Jaitley says, "The PM's statement is an assault on Constitutional authorities. It is not proper that the PM put the blame on the states. Competitive bidding policy was proposed on June 28, 2004. States can't decide on allocation of major minerals. The PM should not blame states for UPA's failure. The PM must take moral responsibility and quit."

3.00 pm: BJP leader Sushma Swaraj says, "The PM must take moral responsibility and quit. Congress has usurped revenue from coal blocks. In last 4 years, 142 coal blocks have been allocated. The PM is unnecessarily blaming the states. The PM's statement has made our claim stronger. The UPA did not implement auction policy for 8 years."

2.08 pm: Lok Sabha Business Advisory Committee meets. While BJP boycotts the meet, NDA ally JDU attends it. The meet is held for a short duration discussion on the PM's statement on coal blocks allocations.

2.04 pm: Rajya Sabha adjourned till Tuesday.

2.02: Uproar continues in Rajya Sabha.

2.01 pm: Lok Sabha adjourned till Tuesday.

2.00 pm: Lok Sabha reconvenes, uproar continues.

1.33 pm: Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader Lalu Prasad says the MPs disrupting the House should be suspended. "The Speaker should suspend the MPs disrupting the house. BJP is shying from a debate as four of its CMs are involved. Why should the PM resign? The BJP has converted Parliament to a street," he adds.

1.22 pm: No coal block allocations took place after UPA I came to power, says Coal Minister Sriprakash Jaiswal. "Not even 0.35 coal blocks were allotted," he adds.

1.21 pm: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh says the CAG report on coal that mention a loss of Rs 1.86 lakh crore to the national exchequer is highly misleading and can be questioned on many counts.

1.19 pm: Coal Minister Sriprakash Jaiswal says, "The Opposition did not allow the PM to make the statement. I don't understand why there should be any doubt after this." "If the Opposition wants, we are ready to discuss the matter in Parliament," he adds.

1.08 pm: Congress leader Ambika Soni says, "The Opposition's strategy is wrong... I am extremely disturbed that Arun Jaitely has justified disruptions..." She adds, "The PM has made a statement making everything clear."

12.51 pm: BJP leader Prakash Javadekar says, "It is not a statement, but an excuse. Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley will give a point by point rebuttal of the statement."

12.49 pm: BJP makes it very clear that it has no faith in the government.

12.41 pm: BJP leader Rajiv Pratap Rudy says, "A new pattern has come up. Charges of corruption seem to be legitimised through debate... Bizarre situation. The PM is trying to bunk CAG that is a constitutional body."

12.40 pm: Salman Khurshid says BJP looks "confused". "The BJP is doing an unreasonable thing, seeking an unreasonable thing. It is not acceptable."

12.35 pm: Congress leader Salman Khurshid says it is unfortunate that the PM was forced to make a statement.

12.32 pm: Rajya Sabha adjourned till 2 pm.

12.31 pm: PM says, "?The UPA I government, for the first time, conceived the idea of making allocations through the competitive bidding route in June 2004."

12.30 pm: Rajya Sabha resumes; PM makes statement amidst furore by Opposition.

12.24 pm: PM's statement says, "The policy (of allocation) existed since 1993 and previous governments also allocated blocks in precisely the manner that the CAG has now criticised."

12.23 pm: PM says, "My silence is better than a thousand words. This is one occasion where I wished to speak to Parliament and the public. I am sorry that House was not allowed to function. The BJP did not allow the House to function."

12.20 pm: PM says it is the BJP's "motivated attack" against the government. "This is one occasion I should be given to defend myself," he adds.

12.18 pm: PM appeals to the Opposition to come back to the House to discuss the issue. "The matter will come to the PAC. I appeal to the Opposition to come back to the House to discuss the issue," he says.

12.17 pm: PM says sorry for the repeated Parliament disruption. "I am sorry that the House has not been allowed to function. The BJP is determined to disrupt Parliament, but we have a strong and credible case," the PM adds.

12.16 pm: PM speaks outside Parliament.

12.11 pm: Lok Sabha adjourned till 2 pm.

12.10 pm: Prime Minister says the observations of the CAG on coal are disputable. "I wish to say that any allegations of impropriety are without basis and unsupported by the facts. I seek the indulgence of the House to make a statement on issues regarding coal block allocations," PM adds.

12.05 pm: Rajya Sabha adjourned till 12.30 pm

12.04 pm: Speaker requests PM to lay his statement on the table of the House.

12.03 pm: Prime Minister begins his statement.

12 noon: Parliament resumes; Furore in Lok Sabha as Opposition members rush to the well of the House demanding PM's resignation. Uproar in Rajya Sabha too as papers laid.

11.34 am: PM likely to make statement at 12 noon.

11.28 am: Shiromani Akali Dal leader Harsimrat Kaur says the NDA is united and that the SAD is with the BJP. "There is no difference. The Akali Dal is with the BJP. The NDA is united. Of course the PM should give explanation. We are asking for PM's resignation because he is not giving any explanation. These are all Congress's tactics."

11.09 am: Speaker calls all-party meet.

11.07 am: Parliament adjourned till 12 noon.

11.05 am: Furore in Rajya Sabha over CAG report on coal. BJP MPs demand PM's resignation.

11.00 am: Parliament session begins. Uproar in Lok Sabha.

10.59 am: BJP meeting over, reiterates its demand for PM's resignation.

10.56 am: Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari says the different attitudes of the BJP in Delhi and Chhattisgarh reek of double standard.

10.52 am: JDU leader Sharad Yadav says the NDA remains united. "I don't want to say anything beyond that," he adds.

10.50 am: Shiv Sena sticks with BJP's stand, seeks PM's resignation.

10.49 am: BJP leader Balbir Punj says a person named in a scam cannot be sitting on the highest position.

10.34 am: PM may either read the statement amidst Opposition fire, or he may lay the statement on the floor of the House or he may clarify his stand in an address to the nation before he leaves for Iran on Tuesday.

10.25 am: Congress leader Rajiv Shukla says Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will make a statement in both the Houses. "I request the BJP to let the PM speak," he adds.

10.20 am: Crucial NDA meet postponed after allies JDU and Akali Dal say the PM should be allowed to make a statement. BJP leaders hold meet.

10.19 am: Shiromani Akali Dal leader Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa says there should be discussion coal allocations in Parliament.

9.07 am: Sources say that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will speak on coal blocks allocations in Parliament on Monday and if BJP obstructs Parliament again, the PM may lay the statement on the floor of the House.

In all likelihood, the deadlock in Parliament over coal block allocations will continue on Monday. It is, however, expected that the Lok Sabha Speaker would call an all-party meet to discuss the matter, if the Opposition doesn't allow Parliament to function on Monday.

Sources say that the Congress is hoping for a change of heart within the BJP. However, if that doesn't happen, sources say the all-party meet would be called in, where the Congress would reiterate its offer to discuss all scams and controversies.

Sources also say that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will clarify his stand on the coal allocations through an address to the nation before he leaves for Iran on Tuesday to attend the NAM summit on August 30-31.

Meanwhile, the BJP's efforts to reach out to non-NDA parties over the coal issue has reportedly borne limited success.

So far, only the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and the AIADMK have supported it in seeking the PM's resignation on the floor of the House.

The Bahujan Samaj Party, the Samajwadi Party and the Left, however, have maintained a safe distance.

The main Opposition party, although, is not willing to give up just yet.

BJP leader Arun Jaitley said, "Disturbing information has surfaced that a valuable public resource was being allocated arbitrarily with the underlying condition of political funding of the party in power... The Prime Minister's office is a sacred institution in Indian democracy. It has to be judged by standards much harsher than those which would apply to Ministers like Shri A Raja. ...We, in the Opposition, are not interested in merely the issue being talked out through a one-day debate in Parliament.

"...If a debate is being used today to put a lid on accountability then an alternative strategy is necessary. Parliamentary obstructionism should ordinarily be avoided. However, in the rarest of rare cases, obstructionism also bring its dividends."

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First Published on Aug 27, 2012 03:55 pm
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