New Delhi: Taking a dig at Prime Minister Manmohan Singh over coal block allocation, the BJP on Friday said that the PM should clarify as he was holding the Coal Portfolio during the period when the alleged scam took place.

"In 2006, the government introduced the Bill for auction of coal blocks. But it (government) did not pass the Bill till 2010. Why the government allotted more than 90 coal blocks with the coal reserve of 17 billion metric tons (bmt) worth Rs 51 lakh crore to over 140 private companies when the Parliament was discussing legislation on it”, asked  BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar.

Javadekar and another BJP MP Hansraj Ahir, in a joint statement, posed five direct questions before the government asking that why the Centre had shown so much enthusiasm in allotting the coal blocks at a time when the Parliament was debating upon framing a proper allocation policy for it.

Accusing the government of being lackadaisical in the entire episode, the BJP asked the government as to how many private companies after getting the coal blocks did not started mining.

“The government must provide a detailed report on how many such companies followed the prescribed rules and regulations in their business and whether the government had taken any action against the wrongdoers or not,” the joint statement asked.

Terming the alleged irregularities in the allocation of coal blocks as a major scam, the BJP leaders accused the government of being “neck-deep” in corruption. The coal scam is in no manner less than the multi-crore 2G spectrum scam and the Commonwealth scam”.