Parliament has been adjourned for the fourth consecutive day. The Opposition led by Bharatiya Janata Party and its allies have forced the adjournment of both Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha in spite of polite requests of Heads of two respective Houses, by trooping to the well of both houses raising slogans demanding nothing short of the resignation of Prime Minister Man Mohan Singh over the coalgate scam. As per the report tabled by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) Prime Minister who was in charge of the Coal Ministry (2006-2009) allotted 57 blocks of coal to Corporates without competitive bidding so as to enable them to accumulate windfall profits. The allocation of coal blocks without the mandatory competitive bidding cost the exchequer Rs 1.86 lakh crores, one of the largest scams India has witnessed since Independence. The fact that allocation of coal blocks without bidding was during the period 2006-2009 when ManMohan Singh was in charge of the Coal Ministry was unbecoming of a Prime Minister as he is the Supreme Head of the govt entrusted with overlooking the performances of each Ministry and whenever a discrepancy is found, it is he who has the power to take strict action against the Minister concerned.
It is reported that during the period of A Raja, who was Minister of Telecom in the UPA govt, ManMohan Singh had reportedly insisted that before awarding licenses to various companies auction had to be conducted to which Raja allegedly didn’t pay heed. Raja’s unilateral decision to award licenses to Telecom Companies without bidding resulted in a staggering loss of Rs 1.76 lakh crores to the exchequer as per the CAG (Comptroller and Auditor General) report tabled on Parliament. With the tabling of that report all hell broke loose and the Opposition unanimously created pandemonium in both houses of Parliament demanding the resignation of Aandimuthu Raja. Though Raja played innocence and bent upon sticking to his Ministry, the Prime Minister was left with no other alternative except demanding his resignation letter. Raja had to tender his resignation as per the demand of Prime Minister to the chagrin of his party Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) which plays an active role in the govt. Pending further investigation Raja was taken into custody later not only him but his officials in the Ministry also had to face imprisonment.
Scams after scams, scandals after scandals, tarnished the image of UPA-2 govt led by Dr.ManMohan Singh. Corruption in various walks of life surfaced and as a result a number of ‘so-called’ dignitaries had to be put behind bars. With corruption turning out to be a bane across the country, a few social activists under the leadership of prominent social activist Anna Hazaare started a movement ‘India Against Corruption’ and they undertook demonstrations and demanded a strong Jan Lok Pal Bill to deal with corrupt elements in the society. They demanded the inclusion of Prime Minister down other govt servants and further demanded autonomy for higher govt institutions like CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation), Central Vigilance Commissioner, Chief Election Commissioner etc.
Anna Hazaare’s and teams’ fast unto death at Jantar Manter drew unprecedented crowd and they raised slogans demanding implementation of a strong Jan Lok Pal at the earliest to rid India of corruption and related evils. Alarmed at the congregation of huge crowd at Jantar Manter, there were lakhs and lakhs of them, the govt tried to pacify Anna Hazaare and sent mediators to prevail upon him to withdraw the fast but an adamant Hazaare demanded nothing other than a written assurance from the part of Prime Minister that Jan Lok Pal with teeth would be implemented in the ensuing session of Parliament. In order to wriggle out of a piquant situation Prime Minister reportedly wrote to him promising an assurance that the Jan Lok Pal Bill would be introduced as demanded by Team Anna.
That written assurance was sufficient for Hazaare to withdraw the fast. Later he alleged that Prime Minister had taken him for a ride and felt betrayed as the so-called Lok Pal bill prepared by the govt was not on the lines he had demanded and still the bill remains a non-starter.
Later what all happened is known to all of us, citizens. Anna’s health deteriorated, spent a fairly long period in hospital to recuperate. In the meanwhile the giant crowd who gathered once in support of Team Hazaare withdrew into their shells, as they got disappointed and disillusioned with the wranglings within Team Anna. Now that the great social activist and his team have decided to float a political party to take on the UPA-2 alliance in the 2014 general elections.
And with the threat of Anna getting subsided, the govt heaved a sigh of relief. No sooner did govt felt relieved than the next threat in the form of Coalgate knocked on the door of the govt disturbing its sleep. This time the CAG report tabled in the Parliament over the allocation of 57 coal blocks to Corporates without adhering to mandatory competitive bidding while the Prime Minister was handling Coal Ministry created an uproar in both Houses of Parliament by the Opposition NDA demanding the resignation of PM.
While a section in the Opposition, mainly Left parties instead of demanding immediate resignation of ManMohan Singh wanted a detailed discussion on the subject first. Gurudas Das Gupta, leader of CPI (Communist Party of India) to a query by reporters on the hot subject replied that whether Dr. Singh needs to quit or not depends upon Dr.Singh’s own judgment and conscience. Sitaram Yechury, Senior leader of CPI(M) wanted a discussion touching upon all aspects of the scam and further wanted the govt to recover the loss of Rs 1.86 lakh crore from the Corporates.
Dr. Singh is regarded as a man of honesty and integrity by majority of Indian citizens in spite of his many drawbacks. As a citizen I don’t think that he will stoop to such a low level on the controversial issues like coalgate while he was handling the Coal Ministry. On the issue of coalgate what all he did must have happened by oversight.
Anyhow UPA-2 govt, that he leads has fallen into a quagmire of an array of corruptions from which it has no escape.
Let detailed discussions as demanded by Leftists take place first and let all of them arrive at a conclusion later.