New Delhi: After putting Congress-led UPA in the dock over 2G spectrum allocation scam and Common Wealth Games, the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) on Tuesday held the Union Government responsible for the irregularities in the coal block allocation worth Rs 85,000 crore. Notably, the allegation has come barely few days after the UPA-2 celebrated its two year in the office and had pledged to fight corruption and take stringent action against the guilty persons.

In an unveiled attack on the Prime Minister, BJP Spokesmen Prakash Javadekar and MP Hansraj Ahir directly held Manmohan Singh accountable for the irregularities which were reported in allocation of coal blocks between 2006 and 2009. During this period, the charge of coal ministry was with the PM.

According to BJP leaders, the Central Government allocated 73 coal blocks to 143 private companies during the aforesaid time span. 90 of these companies never started the production after the allocation was done. Despite the glaring irregularity, Centre did not cancel their allocation.

BJP leaders also revealed that these companies currently hold at least 1700 crore metric tonne of coal, which is worth at least Rs 51 lakh crore. The duo blamed the government of extorting Rs 50 per tonne, estimated at a value of Rs 85,000 crore from the companies.

Hansraj Ahir lambasted the government for adopting the auctioning method instead of first come first serve (FCFS) basis. “In 2006 the UPA government presented the Mines and Minerals Amendment Bill in Parliament, in which the proposals of auctioning coal block allocations were made rather than FCFS basis”, he said.

Ahir pointed out that the PM did not even wait for the bill to be passed in the Parliament and allocated the coal-blocks to the companies.

Demanding an investigation into the case monitored by the Supreme Court, the party has also asked the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) to audit the entire allocation rip-off.

On the other hand, Congress adopted the counterattack strategy against BJP on Tuesday. Congress spokesman Manish Tiwari questioned BJP’s Chhattisgarh government for leasing the coal blocks to Pushp steel. He said that under mysterious circumstances, a Company which was created in Delhi gets a coal mine in Chhattisgarh Kanker on a grant lease on the very first day of its formation.  Tiwari did not fail to mention that the High Court had also slammed the state government on the issue.

JPN/Bureau