New Delhi: The issue of missing files relating to coalgate paralysed proceedings in Parliament today with BJP demanding an immediate response from Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, even as the government said it will leave no stone unturned in tracing the documents.
Amid cries of “shame-shame” and “pradhan mantri jawab do”, Leader of the Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj raised the issue and said the Prime Minister should come to the House and assure members that the CBI probe will not be hampered due to the missing files.
She said as the Prime Minister had recently taken full responsibility in the Lok Sabha, it was incumbent upon him to take the House into confidence as to what had happened to the 147 missing files.
Claiming that the files included applications for coal blocks, she alleged that they have gone missing as some big shots of the Congress were involved.
Swaraj wanted the Speaker to direct the Prime Minister to come to the House and make a statement. Singh had held the coal portfolio from 2006 to 2009 when the coal blocks were allocated.
Rajya Sabha also witnessed uproar after which Coal Minister Sriprakash Jaiswal made a statement saying that a committee has been constituted to go into the issue of missing files which has held two meetings.
“I would like to assure the House that my ministry would leave no stone unturned in tracing and providing the documents sought by the CBI,” he said.
Jaiswal said he was ready to undergo any punishment if his involvement was established.
But, the opposition was not satisfied with the statement with Leader of the Opposition Arun Jaitley finding loopholes asking whether any FIR has been lodged by the Coal Ministry about missing files.
The uproar led to adjournment of Lok Sabha till 1 PM and Rajya Sabha till 2 PM.
As Rajya Sabha met for the day, BJP members started demanding statement from the Prime Minister on the missing files.
M Venkaiah Naidu (BJP) said the Prime Minister should come to the House and assure it that the files are safe. He demanded that the issue related with files should be taken up first.
Coal Minister Sriprakash Jaiswal, who came to the House after the first adjournment, tried to make a statement, but BJP members insisted that it should come from none other than the Prime Minister. Jaiswal could not complete his statement.
Deputy Leader of Opposition Ravi Shankar Prasad termed the coal scam as the biggest one and alleged that some of the missing files are related with companies associated with members of the ruling party.
“We want it (statement) from the Prime Minister. Serious questions are being raised about the Minister,” he said.
The issues of Telangana and onion prices were also raised in the Lok Sabha which saw strong demands from AIADMK and DMK that India should boycott the proposed Commonwealth Heads of Government Meet to be held in Colombo in November as Sri Lanka was violating human rights of ethnic Tamils and targeting Indian fishermen.
TDP MPs were in the Well with their protest entering the third week. MPs from Congress opposing creation of Telangana held placards and shouted slogans from their benches.