Govt, Cong accuse BJP of destabilising UPA
Coal Minister Sriprakash Jaiswal said the campaign launched against the UPA government on the CAG report has been "inopportune" and the discussion on the issue should be held in Parliament`s Public Accounts Committee. He told reporters in Kanpur that no one can force Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to resign till he enjoys the support of people.
"There is a political conspiracy. BJP is trying to spread anarchy in the country. We know how to reply to this. Congress party workers are ready to reply to it…Our government and party are committed to uphold Constitution. BJP should have patience…if they continue with this kind of agitation, they will never be able to come to power for long years," he said.
Claiming that BJP has no right to seek the resignation of the Prime Minister, Jaiswal said Singh was only following a policy that was pursued by the NDA regime. "No one can force the Prime Minister to resign as far as he enjoys majority, as far as he has the support of the people," he said, adding why they were not seeking resignation of Chief Ministers in BJP-ruled states which were named in the report.
He also said the fate of 58 coal blocks will be reviewed today at a meeting of an Inter-Ministerial Group (IMG), on whose recommendations wrongful allotments and cases in which mining has not started can be cancelled. The IMG will give its report by September 15. Slamming BJP for stalling Parliament, Union Minister of State in the PMO V Narayanasamy accused BJP of trying to "destabilise" the UPA government.
"Stalling Parliament is a clear indication of their (BJP`s) intention to destabilise the government. However, BJP`s machinations are not going to succeed," he told reporters in Puducherry.
"It is condemnable that BJP does not want a debate on the issue and has been demanding resignation of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh though he himself had made it clear that the government was prepared to have a debate," he said. Seeking to turn the tables on BJP, Congress asked it to act against Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh for alleged irregularities in mining coal from a block alloted to the state by the Centre.
"BJP is spreading anarchy across the country using a CAG report. The same CAG had found irregularities related to coal mining in Chhattisgarh that led the state exchequer to a loss of Rs 1,000 crore," Congress spokesman Manish Tewari said. Tewari said if a CAG report is the final word for the BJP, then it should seek resignation of the Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh and cancel all the allocations made in the state. At the same time, there have been wrongdoings of the chief ministers of Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka which have been brought out by the CAG, he said. "The BJP should first act against its regional governments," Tewari said.
In Indore, Congress General Secretary Digvijay Singh charged BJP with misleading people over the coal allocation issue and said the party should have a debate in Parliament instead of seeking the Prime Minister`s resignation. "If the Prime Minister or a Chief Minister is changed merely because of the ruckus created by the opposition, would democracy be able to function? I appeal to BJP to stop pressing for PM`s resignation and discuss the issue in the House as per Parliamentary traditions," he told reporters.
The Congress leader alleged that BJP was trying to derive political mileage by "misleading the people" on the alleged scam. He also used the opportunity to target Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) Vinod Rai saying he had violated the oath of secrecy. "After Rai assumed the office of CAG, its reports started leaking. Before him, CAG never made public the issues of confrontation with the government in this way," he said.