PM may clarify on missing coal block files

The opposition had said it won't let the Parliament function unless Manmohan Singh responds to the issue of missing files related to the allocation of coal blocks to private companies at throwaway prices.

NEW DELHI: The government today said that the Prime Minister may intervene and give a clarification on the issue of missing coal block allocation files in the Parliament.


The opposition had said it won't let the Parliament function unless Manmohan Singh responds on the issue of missing files related to the allocation of coal blocks to private companies at throwaway prices.

The demand for Manmohan Singh's statement in the upper house was raised by members from the BJP, CPI-M, AIADMK and other parties.

Replying to the demand, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Rajeev Shukla said: "Leader of Opposition and others demanded a reply from government and coal minister gave a reply ... there were clarifications also."

"If members are not satisfied, we can continue the discussion. Prime minister may intervene, if it is required, in the coal scam case," Shukla said.

Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley demanded that as the prime minister was present in the house, he should reply.

"CBI is looking into the matter of missing files of coal block-allocation. Coal Minister Sriprakash Jaiswal made a statement in the house but we are not satisfied. Prime minister should give a statement on the coal issue," said Jaitley.

Outside parliament, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath earlier said it would not be appropriate to ask prime minister 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.

"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.

Ruckus in Lok Sabha

The Lok Sabha was disrupted after the government moved for suspension of 11 members who have been protesting against the creation of Telangana state out of Andhra Pradesh.

The motion to this effect demanded suspension of seven Congress and four Telugu Desam Party members.

This led to protests by members from the National Democratic Alliance, Left parties and Trinamool Congress, among others.

The Congress Tuesday appealed to the four TDP members, who disrupted the Lok Sabha over the Telangana issue, to cooperate so that the house could debate and pass the food security bill.