BJP alleges PMO favoured Sahay on coal blocks allotment

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New Delhi, Aug 28: Firing a fresh salvo on the coal blocks allocation issue, the BJP alleged on Tuesday that Prime Minister's Office had favoured Union Minister Subodh Kant Sahay by allotting two coal blocks on his request to a company. BJP produced a letter purportedly written by Sahay, the then Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Food Processing Industries and the current Tourism Minister, on Feb 5, 2008, requesting Prime Minister Singh seeking his "personal intervention" in an application for two coal blocks.

"I would like to bring to your kind notice that M/s SKS Ispat and Power Limited have applied for two coal blocks for their steel plants in the state of Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand... I shall be grateful for your personal intervention in this matter," Sahay said in his letter. In response, PMO wrote to the Secretary, Ministry of Coal, to take "appropriate action" on Sahay's plea, the BJP claimed.

"Please find enclosed for action as appropriate a copy of a letter dates 5/2/07 submitted to the Prime Minister by Subodh Kant Sahay...... along with a note regarding allotment of two coal blocks to M/s SKS Ispat and Power Limited for their steel plants in Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand," the purported letter from PMO to Secretary, Coal, said. While the BJP claimed the two coal blocks were allotted just a day after (Feb 6, 2008) Sahay wrote the letter to the PM, the date mentioned in the PMO letter's text is Feb 5, 2007, as quoted above. The opposition party alleged that no mining has been done in the two coal blocks allotted to Sahay. The party dared the Congress to prove that the letters by Sahay and the PMO are fake.

There was a "black gold (coal) rush" during UPA regime and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was "eager" to oblige, BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar said, demanding cancellation of all 142 coal blocks allotted during UPA rule.


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