New Delhi: Accusing the government of being "obdurate", the CPI(M) on Monday asked it to immediately cancel 90 coal block allocations and order a probe into the issue to enable a discussion in the Parliament.

It also demanded an inquiry into the CAG findings about alleged "diversion" of a "substantial percent of coal" extracted from the mines which led Reliance Power to make "windfall gain of Rs 20,000 crore".

"The BJP has now come down to our point of view. We were demanding from the first day that allocations be cancelled and an enquiry ordered. Had this happened three weeks ago, we would not have had so much of disruption. But even now, the government appears to be obdurate," CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury told a press conference here.

"Even now, when there is little time left, the government can redeem the situation by cancelling the coal blocks and ordering an enquiry and starting a discussion in the House," he said, adding that the government has now "admitted irregular contracts" in 90 allocations.

Elaborating, he said, "Coal blocks were used by companies which got them to make money without undertaking any mining. They took massive loans from nationalised banks on the basis of the allocation papers. This needs to be enquired into."

Yechury said there should be an inquiry into whether the mining licenses were used by these companies to raise crores of rupees from nationalised banks.

There were also irregularities like the absence of a clause about the "holding period" in the contracts as to by when they would start mining, he claimed.

Yechury's party colleague Basudeb Acharia said the CAG findings on Reliance Power project at Sasan should be enquired into.

"Whether the laid down guidelines were blatantly violated by Reliance Power for Ultra Mega Power Plant and whether a substantial per cent of coal extracted from the mines led Reliance Power to make windfall gain of Rs 20,000 crore, should be probed," Acharia said.

"The Prime Minister has been silent on this. There is no mention of this in his statement in Parliament," the CPI(M) leader said, demanding a thorough probe "to ascertain who is responsible, and this should be followed by action".

Observing that this was "crony capitalism" being practised under the Manmohan Singh regime, Yechury said, "It clearly shows that efforts are made to keep the system in a state of anarchy so that some people can make money. The PM himself has said that India can ill-afford crony capitalism but this is what is happening under his governance."

He, however, made it clear that the party was not against allocations made to public sector undertakings for extraction from captive coal mines.

Yechury and Acharia said the CAG reports on the coal allocation, Reliance Power and Delhi Airport should be taken up by the Public Accounts Committee of Parliament and their findings be made subject to parliamentary scrutiny.

The CPI(M) units on Monday began a three-day nation-wide protest against the coalgate scam.


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