BJP attacks PM Manmohan; Sonia's Coalgate smile vanished

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Manmohan Singh and Sonia Gandhi
New Delhi, Aug 21: Bharatiya Janata Party and other opposition parties stormed the Parliament on Tuesday, Aug 21 as they attacked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh over the coal scam.

The opposition parties demanded Manmohan Singh's resignation. The demand was raised following the  Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) report which claimed that coal blocks allocation between 2005 and 2009 led to a loss of Rs 1.86 lakh crore for the national exchequer.

Congress President Sonia Gandhi must be very annoyed over the ruckus in the Parliament when the opposition launched a join attack on the Prime Minister. Mrs Gandhi also may face the heat of the moment as Janata Party supremo Subramanian Swamy earlier had asserted, "Why should only the prime minister be held responsible for all scams popping out in the UPA regime? UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi is equally responsible and she can't escape from her responsibilities. She is a very corrupt politician."

BJP spokesperson Ravishankar Prasad earlier on Monday said, "The Party's Parliamentary Executive Committee met today (Monday) under the chairmanship of Advani Ji. The Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj ji and the Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley ji have already demanded the resignation of Shri Manmohan Singh in view of the massive scam in the allocation of coal when Shri Manmohan Singh himself was the Coal Minister for a long time. The party is going to reiterate the same in the two Houses of Parliament."

However, sources from UPA government informed that Manmohan Singh will not succumb to the pressure by the opposition and will not resign from his post. The Prime Minister is expected to make a statement in the Parliament on Tuesday.

The CAG report, which was tabled in the Parliament on Aug 17, did not indict the Prime Minister Office (PMO) but CAG scrutinised the period between 2005 to 2009 when Manmohan Singh was the coal minister.

The report named 25 companies including Essar Power, Hindalco, Tata Steel, Tata Power and Jindal Steel and Power which have got the blocks in various states. According to the report, nearly 44 billion tonnes of coal were given away at throwaway prices to private companies and 194 coal blocks were allegedly allotted to companies on mere recommendations.

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