Congress giving 'alibis' on Coalgate scam to 'cover-up' PM: BJP

New Delhi, Aug. 18 (ANI): Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Sunday accused the ruling Congress Party of covering up the facts of the Coalgate scam, in an attempt to shield Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh, after files pertaining to the case were declared 'missing'.

"As far as the Coalgate is concerned, the Government's intention is always suspect. It wants to hide the facts from the CBI enquiry because, first of all, they never wanted CBI to enquire. ... So, they now want to foil the CBI enquiry and, in that effort, they are hiding facts from the CBI," BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar said.

"Now, they are giving alibis that some files are untraceable, some files are missing, some files are misplaced. All this is humbug-this is intentional-and the Government can retrieve the files. Even, the CBI can take the concerned computers and retrieve the files. But this is yet another attempt by the Government to dodge the enquiry; this is an effort for a massive cover-up to save the Prime Minister," he added.

Earlier, Union Coal Minister Sriprakash Jaiswal on Saturday confirmed that few files related to the coal allocation scam were missing, saying that copies of them are being retrieved.

"It's true that some files from 1993 to 2004 are missing. We are trying to get the copies of those files ready," Jaiswal said.

Jaiswal told the media that the Central Mine Planning and Design Institute Limited ( CMPDI), Ministry of Steel and Ministry of Cement have also been asked to return the files if they have them.

He added that the Coal Ministry has given 768 files to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the investigation was still in process.

The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) report on coal block allocation stated that nearly 150 coalfields were allotted to private and state-run firms without transparency and objectivity between 2005 and 2009.

The BJP has held the Prime Minister responsible and demanded his resignation, for what has been estimated as loss of Rs 1.86 lakh crores to the national exchequer by the CAG in coal block allocation.

The CAG report does not indict the Prime Minister or his office, but the BJP is emphasizing that the Prime Minister held direct charge of the Coal Ministry for the years under scrutiny.

However, the Prime Minister had rejected the CAG's observations as "misleading" and "flawed", and blamed the opposition parties for thwarting the efforts of his government to bring a policy of competitive bidding.

Dr. Singh also ruled out any possibility of quitting the top post despite the BJP firm on its demand for his resignation over the coal blocks allocation issue. (ANI)

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