CVC asks CBI to probe all coal block allocations post 1993

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New Delhi, Sept 24: The CBI probe into Coalgate could be widened as the Central Vigilance Commission has asked the agency to look into all the coal block allocations post 1993. 

On Sept 21, Coal Minister Sriprakash Jaiswal had forwarded a letter to the CVC in this regard. The letter was written by seven MPs who had demanded an enquiry into the allocation of coalfields since 1993.

A minority Congress government led by Narasimha Rao was in power from 1991 to 1996. It was followed by the two short-lived United Front regimes of HD Deve Gowda and IK Gujral, respectively.

In 1998, Atal Behari Vajpayee headed the first NDA government. The second one was formed the very next year. The allocation of coal mines by these five governments will come under the ambit of the ongoing probe if the CBI acts on the CVC's order.

The Comptroller and Auditor General has estimated that the UPA-I and UPA-II governments caused a total loss of Rs 1.86 lakh crore to the exchequer by giving away coal blocks to private companies for a song in the last eight years.

Citing the CAG report, the BJP has been demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh as he held the Coal portfolio from 2006 to 2009.

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