Prime Minister ManMohan Singh on board the air craft back home after attending Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) Summit in Tehran reportedly made his position clear to the media persons that the question of his resignation from his post in the wake of Opposition Bharathiya Janata Party and its allies demanding his abdication of power on the allegation related to the allotment of coal blocks to 142 corporates, without the mandatory competitive bidding while he was handling the Coal Ministry from 2005-2009. He still sticks to his stand that what he did was correct and hence need not quit the prestigious Prime Ministerial post and took the opportunity to come down heavily on the Comptroller and Auditor General Vinod Rai. It is worthwhile to remember here that the UPA-2 govt under Indian National Congress likewise mounted a concerted attack against Vinod Rai, alleging that as per his report on 2G Spectrum scam, the govt had drained the exchequer of Rs 1.76 lakh crore. In the wake of the scam Opposition unitedly stood by CAG report and demanded the resignation of the then Minister of Telecom, A Raja who stuck to his position arguing that he had not violated any rule and caused any loss to the govt exchequer, had to finally bow out of office at the instance of Prime Minister ManMohan Singh. The Opposition had to exert a relentless pressure on Mr.Raja to step down from the office who was later arrested and imprisoned, the whole story I need not elaborate here.
Up till then, the huge loss of Rs 1.76 lakh crore to the govt exchequer was alleged as the most major scam that Independent India witnessed. Even while Raja was spending his days in Tihar jail, the Minister who took charge of Telecom Ministry,– he is incidentally the Minister of Human Resource Development – claimed to the media that not a single paise loss was caused to the exchequer with much courage and conviction. Later his claim was found baseless and the CAG’s audit report was absolutely correct, upon completion of detailed investigation. Kapil Sibal kept mum and he might have thought that it was better not to argue against the CAG report as his claims were proved false. He is still keeping silent.
Similarly on the Coalgate scam, our Finance Minister, P.Chidambaram who is a famed lawyer also asked the press persons, ‘Without the coal being mined where is the loss?’ It was in his opinion ‘zero-loss’ and hence the audit report of CAG was absolutely wrong. His argument is prima facie baseless and absurd since the coal blocks were already allocated to the Corporates and it is their discretion whether and when to mine the coal.
What is actually needed is the de-allocation of coal blocks and put it for auction. The govt is silent over that demand which was reportedly made by the leader of CPI(M) Sitaram Yechuri and other leftist leaders.
Even while knowing that CAG Vinod Rai is a person of integrity and man of principles during his career so far he had/has no need to be dishonest in his capacity as CAG. Whenever an audit report which criticizes the govt for heavy loss due to the adoption of false procedures, how dare the mandarins in the corridors of power launch baseless attacks against him? Please note that his audit report on 2G scam was proved absolutely correct beyond any doubt.
Two weeks have gone since the Parliament’s monsoon session started, not even a single business could not be transacted due to BJP (Bharathiya Janata Party), the main Opposition shows no signs of withdrawing its demand that Prime Minister ManMohan Singh should resign his post owning up the responsibility for allotting coal blocks to the Corporates, until then Parliament will not be allowed to transact any business. With the principal Opposition bent upon disrupting Parliamentary proceedings indefinitely on one side and Samajwadi Party and Left parties demanding the convening of the Parliament to discuss and debate the fall-out of Coalgate scam, the UPA-2 govt find itself caught between the rock and deep blue sea.
On board the air craft Prime Minister while sticking to his stand, sarcastically made it clear that Bharathiya Janata Party needed to wait until 2014 when the term of the present govt is to expire. He charged the principal Opposition BJP with putting obstacles in the way of the govt, thus preventing it to carry on his pro-poor reforms – poverty, malnutrition, hunger etc and tabling of bills in Parliament, scheduled to be made into laws after detailed discussions by the members. It is quite laughable that Dr.ManMohan Singh who occupied the saddle in the year 2004 and now that 8 years have elapsed, still sheds crocodile tears on the plight of poor people of this country. If he was sincere in alleviating this sufferings and hardships of the poor, he could have contributed a lot by this time for their cause in his capacity as the Prime Minister of India.
Going by the stand adopted by the govt on one side and principal Opposition on the other, it is likely that until 7 September, the day Parliament monsoon session ends, the stalemate is likely to continue. In short, we, the Indian citizens, will have to wait for the winter session to witness the next round of political circus.