The CAG report has stated that Sancheti's firm SMS Infrastructure was favoured in terms of cost for the exploration contract given to it for Bhadgaon II Extension coal block.
Congress has alleged that the BJP government in Chhattisgarh favoured Sancheti and his "business partner" Gadkari in this deal. "We will not engage in the kind of campaign that the Congress is involved in. These allegations are baseless. We understand the worries of the Congress. They are involved in so many scams. But they should also learn a little about how to read and write," BJP spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad said.
He also maintained that the BJP differs from the conclusions drawn by the CAG in this matter. "Bhadgaon II Extension is an open cast mine where mining costs less.
It is a part open and part underground mine. It is also near a river and so a wall has to be built to work as a dam to keep out the water," Prasad said. Asked if Sancheti and Gadkari were business partners, he replied in the negative.
He hastened to add that a leader from any party can also be a businessman provided his dealings are transparent.
"Neither was Gadkari president then (in 2008 when the tender was alloted) nor was Sancheti an MP. Gadkari was BJP Maharashtra unit president. He became BJP President one and a half years later in 2010," Prasad said. Sancheti became a BJP Rajya Sabha MP last month.