New Delhi: Union Tourism Minister Subodh Kant Sahay is under fire on account of allegations of his involvement in coal scam. It seems that he could lose his cabinet berth very soon. Congress sources said that in the wake of these allegations, party leadership is seriously contemplating over his presence in the government.

On the other hand, mounting its attack against Congress, the BJP has intensified its demand to seek resignation of Union Coal Ministers Sriprakash Jaiswal.

However, the leadership of the ruling party has been denying the charges of irregularities against its ministers in allocation of coal blocks to the private firms. But anticipating the deepening political crisis over this issue, the Congress leadership feels that it would be pertinent to remove Sahay from Union Cabinet to mollify the opposition. It is also being said that party could act against its other leaders like Vijay Darda, Naveen Jindal and former minister of state for coal Santosh Bagrodia after their names surfaced in the coal scam.

It is to be noted that Union Minister Subodh Kant Sahay had written to the Prime Minister requesting the latter to allocate coal blocks to SK Ispat and Power, a private firm in which the Minister’s own brother Sudhir Sahay is said to be a major stake holder. It has also been found that just two days after the letter written to the PM by Union Minister Sahay, the said company got allocated two coal blocks on the recommendations of the PMO.

Congress leadership is also upset over allegations of irregularities in allocation of coal blocks after Sriprakash Jaiswal became coal minister. In his reply to the party leadership, Jaiswal has said that the decision in this regard was taken prior to his appointment as the Coal Minister by a screening committee but the party leadership is said to be dissatisfied with his reply.

In case of Congress Rajya Sabha MP Vijay Darda, the CBI has not yet registered any case against him under Prevention of Corruption Act but he is under scanner for his links with JLD Energy which has allegedly been allocated coal blocks against norms.

Congress’ Lok Sabha MP Naveen Jindal’s company was provided cheaper coal for generating power but the MP’s company earned huge profit by selling it at high price. It is believed that Congress Party could seek explanation from Jindal in this matter.

JPN/Bureau

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