New Delhi, Mar 22: The estimated Rs 10.67 lakh crore loss to the exchequer in allotment of coal blocks in an initial CAG report kicked up a storm both inside and outside Parliament today with BJP demanding a CBI probe.
Parliament was thrown into turmoil with the Opposition forcing adjournment of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha till noon after accusing the Government of a massive scam in coal allocation.
Congress steered clear of the issue arising out of the allotment of coal block allocations between 2004 and 2009, contending it was not proper to comment on the draft CAG report which has not yet been finalised.
“The coal allotment scam is a major scam. We demand a CBI probe and a court should monitor the probe,” BJP leader Prakash Javdekar told reporters.
“Why coal blocks were alloted without auction?” Javdekar asked.
Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik described as ‘shocking' the report.
“This is truely shocking as the issue has been raised in Parliament. It is a mega-mega scam and a sad development,” the BJD supremo told reporters outside the assembly in Bhubaneswar while his partymen shouted anti-UPA slogans in the House.
CPI(M) demanded that the CAG report on coal block allocation be tabled in Parliament without delay and necessary and that necessary acation be initiated to recoup the losses to the national exchequer.
As soon as the Lok Sabha met for the day, JD-U members were on their feet demanding immediate discussion on a report of the Comptroller and Auditor General(CAG) on allocation of 155 coal acreages between 2004 and 2009 to some 100 companies.
Just as Speaker Meira Kumar called for the Question Hour, BJP and JD-U members trooped into the Well raising slogans against the government.
“Yeh Sarkar Kaali Hai (This government has been tarnished)” the opposition members chanted in the Well. With members unrelenting, the Speaker adjourned the Lok Sabha till noon.
Pandemoniumalso brokeout in the Rajya Sabha where Prakash Javadekar (BJP) said he had given notice for suspension of Question Hour to discuss the alleged scam. “Sorry, the Question Hour cannot be suspended,” Chairman Hamid Ansari said.
“You cannot raise the issue without the permission of the Chair,” Minister of State in PMO V Narayanasamy said. As members continued to raise the issue and waved copies of a newspaper, Ansari said members cannot raise “unsubstantiated matters”.
“No newspapers are allowed. You cannot display banners. Please sit down. You cannot raise matters in this manner. You can raise it later, this is not the time,” he told the agitating members.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was present in the Rajya Sabha.
Javadekar said the Prime Minister was in-charge of coal portfolio when the alleged scam took place. Amid the din, Ansari adjourned the Rajya Sabha for 15 minutes.
When the House met again, similar scenes were repeated and the proceedings were adjourned till noon.
Seeking a thorough probe into the allocation of Coal blocks, BJP vice president Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi told reporters the UPA government was breaking its own records of corruption and termed it as a “scam-tainted” and “master of scams” government.
Congress spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi said “It is absolutely not right nor possible for me, nor am I going to start commenting on your so called drafts.”