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Live: BJP demands PM's resignation, Parl adjourned for the day

Updated: April 23, 2013, 11:30 AM IST
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Live: BJP demands PM's resignation, Parl adjourned for the day
BJP ally JD(U) is not pushing for the PM's resignation and wants to wait for the government's reply on JPC.

New Delhi: 2:05 pm: The Rajya Sabha was adjourned for the day as BJP MPs continued to shout 'PM must quit' slogans.

1:00 pm: UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi has ruled out Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's resignation over the coal scam or the 2G scam. Meanwhile, the Opposition is divided over the demand for PM's resignation. BJP ally JD(U) is not pushing for the PM's resignation and wants to wait for the government's reply on JPC. The SP, too, has distanced itself from the BJP's demand.

12:15 pm: BJP MPs continued to shout 'PM must quit' slogans in both Houses of Parliament. The Parliament Standing Committee report on coal blocks allocation was tabled in the Lok Sabha amidst the uproar. Following the uproar the Rajya Sabha was adjourned till 2 pm, while the Lok Sabha was adjourned till Thursday.

12 noon: Both Houses of Parliament resume. Uproar in both Houses of Parliament continues.

11:40 am: The BJP parliamentary party has decided that its MPs will continue to press for the Prime Minister's and the Law Minister's ouster for allegedly vetting the CBI investigations into coal block allocations.

11:05 am: Both the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha were adjourned till noon as the Opposition took on the government over the coal scam and 2G scam. Bharatiya Janata Party leader Ravi Shankar Prasad said, "It is not acceptable that the government suppresses the truth. We demand that the Prime Minister resigns and the Law Minister should be sacked."

BJP MPs created an uproar in both Houses of the Parliament and demanded the Prime Minister's resignation. But the government said the demand was baseless. "There is no basis to BJP's demand for PM's resignation," Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath said.

A Parliamentary standing committee on coal and steel, which will submit its report on Tuesday, contains a few explosive conclusions. There could be trouble both for the UPA and NDA as the report says all the coal blocks distributed between 1993 and 2008 were unauthorised and not done in a transparent manner.

Meanwhile, the report observes that no bidding process was held for coal allocations. Though it is not binding on the government, the report recommends that those involved directly or indirectly should be investigated.

It also says that all coal mine allocations where production is yet to be begin, should be cancelled. The report does not name a presumptive loss figure, however.

Meanwhile, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), in an affidavit, is set to tell the Supreme Court of India that the probe agency's report on coal block allocation scam was shared with the Law Ministry on its request and that Law Minister Ashwani Kumar had vetted the report, a charge the Congress has been rejecting. CNN-IBN has accessed the details of the CBI's affidavit that the agency will file with the apex court on April 26.

The CBI affidavit will also include the original status report on the coal block allocation scam, which concluded that there was a lack of transparency in the Centre's coal policy. The role of the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) and the government in coal allocations is also part of the CBI report.

In March, the probe agency had said in its status report that many companies were given coal blocks through false representations and that there was no rationale for allocation of the blocks. The Supreme Court had ordered the CBI not to share the report with the government. It has also asked the Centre to explain why a small group of companies were favoured.

Top CBI sources told CNN-IBN that if asked, they will tell the SC that the Law Minister had indeed vetted the report on the scam. Earlier in April, a report in a national daily had said the CBI status report was vetted by Ashwani Kumar and officials of the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) but the Congress had distanced itself saying the matter is pending in court. Questions have also been raised about the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's own knowledge about the entire coal scam probe report.

The main Opposition the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has been demanding resignation of the Law Minister in the wake of reports that he had summoned the CBI chief after which the report on the scam was "toned down". Congress had rejected the charge of interference and has ruled out resignation of the Law Minister.

First Published: April 23, 2013, 11:30 AM IST
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