No PM statement on missing coal files: Congress

New Delhi, Aug 22 (IANS) Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath Thursday said it would not be appropriate to ask Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to make a statement in parliament about the missing files relating to the allocation of coal blocks.

"The prime minister is not the custodian of files. Why should he reply? If they (opposition) want, the coal minister will reply," Kamal Nath said while speaking to a television news channel here.

"I think this demand (by the opposition) is not appropriate. We have a minister and it is his direct responsibility to reply in parliament," he said.

Voicing the same opinion, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Rajeev Shukla said: "The file has been lost for maybe the last six months or so. The current coal minister is willing to make a statement, and he has already made a statement on the floor of the Rajya Sabha."

"The opposition has asked for some clarification, if they want a statement, the coal minister is willing to make one, and that is more than enough," Shukla told reporters outside parliament.

Coal Minister Sriprakash Jaiswal had Saturday admitted that some files related to the coal blocks allocations had gone missing.

Meanwhile, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) continued its protest, demanding a statement from the prime minister on the matter.

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