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PM should be investigated in coalgate: BJP

New Delhi: Hitting back at the Congress for attacking the Opposition at its conclave, BJP today said the ruling party is living in "chronic denial" and sought to know whether Prime Minister Manmohan Singh should be investigated or "felicitated" for not taking action in coalgate and other scams.

Referring to Congress Working Committee criticising the Opposition at its meet on Monday, BJP expressed surprise that UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi had defended Singh when "some of the worst scams" have taken place under his rule. "They have a right to criticise us and we have no objection to that. They have nothing to say about their own achievements but the manner in which the Opposition was criticised without any basis is unfortunate," BJP Chief spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad said.

BJP charged that both Gandhi and Singh have tried to run away from the "stark reality" that price rise and corruption in the UPA government had hurt the Congress image inspite of over 40 Congress leaders conveying their "deep concern" over this at the conclave. "The almost reckless criticism of the Opposition for articulating the ineffeciencies and corruption of this government is truly surprising…. To live in chronic denial is the DNA of Congress. It tries to run away from reality," Prasad said.

On the Coalgate scam, the party said CVC, and not the BJP, had found it "appropriate" that the coal allocations be investigated. BJP pointed out that Singh has held the coal portfolio for most of the time that UPA has been in power since 2004. "Why should the Prime Minister not be investigated… Sorry to say Soniaji, but you have not done your homework well," Prasad said.

"On October 15, 2004 a decision was taken that coal allocation will be through competitive bidding. In 2005, a Cabinet note was also prepared on this but still no action was taken. On July 26, 2010 the Bill related to this was passed. It has been two years since the Act was passed," Prasad said. BJP insisted that it was right in demanding from the CVC that a probe be ordered as most of the coal block allocations have been done when Singh held the portofolio.

Taking further digs at the Congress-led government, the BJP said scams caused by A Raja (2G spectrum), Suresh Kalmadi (Commonwealth Games), and Sheila Dikshit (also CWG) were not committed at the behest of the BJP. "Sonia Gandhi, you have objection to the Prime Minister being accused by the Opposition. If he took no action against those involved in these scams, do you think we should felicitate him… As somebody said Congress indulges in corruption with all sincerity," Prasad said.

He also rubbished allegations of "conspiracy theories" being at work against the Congress. "Congress should remember that this always fails. During the JP movement in the 1970s, Indira Gandhi and Deokant Barua (then Congress President) alleged that JP is a leader of a group of conspirators. Then in 1987-88, during Bofors they spoke of conspiracy theories. And now again. This is the India of 2012, a changed India," Prasad said.

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