PM likely to make a statement in Parliament on coal blocks allocations


Sources say that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will speak on coal blocks allocations in Parliament on Monday and if BJP obstructs Parliament again, the PM may lay the statement on the floor of the House.

In all likelihood, the deadlock in Parliament over coal block allocations will continue on Monday. It is, however, expected that the Lok Sabha Speaker would call an all-party meet to discuss the matter, if the Opposition doesn’t allow Parliament to function on Monday.

Sources say that the Congress is hoping for a change of heart within the BJP. However, if that doesn’t happen, sources say the all-party meet would be called in, where the Congress would reiterate its offer to discuss all scams and controversies.

Sources also say that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will clarify his stand on the coal allocations through an address to the nation before he leaves for Iran on Tuesday to attend the NAM summit on August 30-31.

Meanwhile, the BJP’s efforts to reach out to non-NDA parties over the coal issue has reportedly borne limited success.

So far, only the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and the AIADMK have supported it in seeking the PM’s resignation on the floor of the House.

The Bahujan Samaj Party, the Samajwadi Party and the Left, however, have maintained a safe distance.

The main Opposition party, although, is not willing to give up just yet.

BJP leader Arun Jaitley said, “Disturbing information has surfaced that a valuable public resource was being allocated arbitrarily with the underlying condition of political funding of the party in power… The Prime Minister’s office is a sacred institution in Indian democracy. It has to be judged by standards much harsher than those which would apply to Ministers like Shri A Raja. …We, in the Opposition, are not interested in merely the issue being talked out through a one-day debate in Parliament.

“…If a debate is being used today to put a lid on accountability then an alternative strategy is necessary. Parliamentary obstructionism should ordinarily be avoided. However, in the rarest of rare cases, obstructionism also bring its dividends.”

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