Lucknow: Lashing out at the BJP for its stand on the coal controversy, Congress on Wednesday alleged that there was a clear similarity between the anti-Bofors campaign and the present one on the coal blocks allocation.

"Between 1985-1990 there was a campaign after the CAG report on Bofors against Rajiv Gandhi with foreign journals also publishing articles and there is a similar pattern to it from 2009 to the present times", Congress general secretary Digvijay Singh who is also in-charge of the party affairs in Uttar Pradesh told reporters here.

The CAG report on Bofors could not be proved even by the non-Congress governments at the Centre and now since 2009-2012 there is a similar campaign on 2G and coal allocation, Singh said.

A pattern to the coverage in the foreign media can also be seen between these two periods, Singh said alleging that it has been BJP's design to scream out to make a false incident into an issue.

Recalling as to how the then CAG, T N Chaturvedi went on to become a Rajya Sabha MP, Singh alleged that perhaps the present incumbent is also trying to follow in his footsteps.

Singh asserted that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and UPA government believed in complete transparency.

Union health minister Gulam Nabi Azad also lashed out at the BJP for stalling the proceedings of the house on the coal allotment issue stressing that had they really wanted the truth to come out before the people they would have opted for a debate.

Unlike earlier occasions when the opposition demanded a debate, this time the government and the Prime Minister were ready for it, but not the opposition, specially the BJP, as they knew that it would expose them and they would not be able to face the people, Azad said.

Azad said during emergency, family planning was made into a major issue and again Bofors was made an issue during Rajiv Gandhi government by launching a false propaganda and now an anxious BJP is trying to exploit these issues as it knows that work done by the UPA government in the past seven to eight years would get it a third term.

On the CAG report on coal allocation, Azad said that it has not stated that the government or the Prime Minister has minted money through wrong methods but has only said that had it been through auction it would have earned this much profit.

Asserting that it was the UPA government which brought the law to ensure transparency in coal allocation, Azad said that the lease for the purpose is done by the respective state governments and the Centre and the Prime Minister have no role in it.

The Union Minister also said that it were the state governments led by the BJP governments which had opposed the auction system when the UPA had initiated it. Azad said that he and other union ministers are touring the states to apprise the reasons on why the parliament was not allowed to function.

To a question on Samajwadi Party President Mulayam Singh Yadav terming UPA as a government of scams, Digvijay Singh said that though he would not comment on what a senior leader has said but asked him (Yadav) to present the evidence if he has any to the CBI.

When questioned on Bal Thackarey terming the book on whose basis Singh had earlier termed him (Thackeray) as a Bihari as fake, the Congress leader said that if so the then Chief Minister of Maharashtra Manohar Joshi is to be blamed as he had released it.

Singh also made light of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi's "Vivekanand Yatra" saying that there are no similarities with Swami Vivekanand and Modi and it would have been better had it been 'Hitler yatra".

Referring to coal block allocation to an associate of BJP president Nitin Gadkari by the Chhattisgarh government, Singh said that though they are making all sorts of claims they have not yet stated as to why the allocation was made on a single bid.

"It was made on the recommendation of the state government. The Chhattisgarh government has not yet said as to why a single bid tender of SRS Infrastructure, a company owned by a close Gadkari aide, was accepted", Singh said.

(Agencies)

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