CPI (M) for complete exposure in coal scam case, says 'attempts being made to obfuscate truth'

New Delhi, Oct 16 (ANI): Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader Sitaram Yechury on Wednesday said the country needs a thorough and a complete probe in the coal scam case to ensure that the guilty are punished.

Yechury said the CPI (M) has been demanding a complete and a thorough investigation into the entire scam on the basis of what the CAG report has said.

"We asked the Prime Minister to come and clarify in the house, which after great amount of pressure, he did. We were not satisfied with the statement, but that statement also said the government will complete cooperate in a proper full complete investigation. Now, what has been raised by the former Coal Secretary is actually part of such investigation. So, we want that investigation to be completed," Yechury told Asian News International (ANI) here.

"And since it's happening under the supervision of the apex court of the country, I am sure the apex court has taken cognizance of the statement and they will do things accordingly. But what is required is a complete thorough probe," he added, while reacting to former Union Coal Secretary Prakash Chandra Parakh's remarks that the Prime Minister should also be made an accused in the coal scam case.

To a poser on whether he saw any link in between the BJP and the Coal Secretary, Yechury said all attempts are being made to conceal the truth in this case.

"Whether it is on the 2G scam, whether it is on the coalgate scam, there has been and what we have been alleging from day one (that) there has been a classic match-fixing going on because the skeletons from the NDA cupboard will also start tumbling. And that is something that the BJP doesn't want. So, in this whole case the whole idea is obfuscate to the entire truth," he said.

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Yashwant Sinha today said the time has now come for the former coal secretary to speak up.

"He has spoken a little. He should come out clean now; make public statements of how files were disposed off at that time, how chits were received from the Congress Party headquarters in the PMO and how PMO transmitted those instructions to the Coal Ministry for allotment of coal blocks either to their favourites or to persons with whom they had struck deals," he said.

Parakh said earlier today that if the CBI considers that there is a conspiracy in this case, then the prime minister should be held equally responsible, as he was the final decision maker.

Parakh, who has been named in the latest chargesheet filed by the CBI along with industrialist Kumar Mangalam Birla and his company, said there is absolutely nothing wrong in the decision.

"So, to my mind I don't know why the CBI has thought that there is a controversy. But, if it is a conspiracy, then there are different members to this conspiracy. Mr. Birla, who made a representation, is one conspirant; I who examined the case and made a recommendation, I can be another conspirant; and the prime minister as coal minister, who took the decision, is the third conspirant. So, if CBI thinks that there is a conspiracy, then why did they chose and select Mr. Birla and me and why not the PM?" asked Parakh

"If there is a conspiracy, then, we all three are conspirants, and he is the final decision maker," he added, while talking to ANI in Hyderabad.

The 1969-batch IAS officer of Andhra Pradesh cadre, who was appointed Union Coal Secretary in March 2004 and remained in that post till he retired in December 2005, said it is for the CBI to answer as to why they have included him in the FIR.

The CBI yesterday filed FIRs against Kumar Mangalam Birla and Parakh for alleged irregularities and criminal conspiracy in allocation of two coal blocks in Orissa in 2005.

The CBI, which has now filed 14 FIRs in this case, carried out coordinated searches at offices of the Aditya Birla group in Mumbai, New Delhi, Hyderabad and Bhubaneswar yesterday.

The BJP has held the Prime Minister responsible and demanded his resignation for an estimated loss of Rs 1.86 lakh crores to the national exchequer by the CAG in connection with the 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. (ANI)

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