Opening a new front against the Government,UPA’s outside supporter Samajwadi Party (SP) joined hands with the Left parties and TDP today to demand a judicial probe into coal blocks allocation and cancellation of licenses failng which they threatened to launch a countrywide agitation.
SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav staged a dharna at the main entrance of the Parliament building along with leaders from the CPI,CPI(M),RSP,Forward Block and TDP.
They claimed to have support from eight parties for their demand.
More than 30 MPs from these parties staged the dharna which began around 10.30 AM. The MPs including Yadav,CPI leader D Raja and TDP’s Nama Nageshwar Rao shouted slogans and carried placards for inquiry into the coal scam and cancellation of allotments of coal blocks.
They demanded that the Parliament should be allowed to function and to put an end to the “match-fixing” of the Congress and the BJP to disrupt it.
After the 20-minute dharna,Yadav told reporters,”We demand that a sitting Supreme Court judge or the CBI should inquire into the scam. If they don’t order a probe,we will fight at the national level and go to the people on the issue”.
Asked if the parties would continue to be together in the future and whether this was the beginning of a Third Front,he said,”This will continue and whatever you want to think,you can do that.
“We want the coal block licences should be cancelled and there should be a discussion on the issue in Parliament,” he said.
CPI-M leader Sitaram Yechury said,”Both BJP and Congress want to avoid a discussion because they don’t want it. If there is no discussion,many of their secrets will remain safe. If a debate is held,many skeletons will tumble out of the cupboard.”
Asked if Yadav could be trusted,he said,”That is why we are saying that only time will tell what will happen in the future”.
CPI leader Gurudas Dasgupta said,”We have united to fight corruption and the efforts to destroy Parliamentary democracy. This will not only be in Parliament but outside also. This is the beginning of a new day and era”.
TDP leader Nama Nageshwara Rao said,”We want the government to cancel the allocation of coal blocks”.
He alleged that both Congress and BJP were involved in loot of iron ore in Karnataka.
Leaders of SP,CPI,CPI(M) and TDP met yesterday in the backdrop of Parliament failing to transact any business for almost two weeks,with the BJP continuing to create ruckus by pressing its demand for the resignation of the Prime Minister.
Coalgate: PM to decide on SP’s demand for judicial probe,says Khurshid
With SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav seeking a judicial probe into the coal block allocation,Law Minister Salman Khurshid on Friday said a decision on this can be taken only by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
It is a view of Mulayam Singh. It will go to the Prime Minister. Whatever decision is taken by him,whether a decision is taken,only time will tell, Khurshid said outside Parliament.
Asked how the government views the SP supremo coming together with the Left Parties on the issue of coal block allocation,he evaded a direct reply.
He said the party was grateful to Yadav for continuously supporting the UPA government.
Yadav and MPs from TDP and Left parties today sat on a dharna in front of Parliament to seek a judicial inquiry into coal blocks allocation.
Eight parties,including the Samajwadi Party and the Left,have also joined hands to protest the continued disruption of Parliament.
Khurshid said the government wanted discussion on the issue and the BJP,which is continuously disrupting the proceedings of Parliament,is already isolated.
There is no doubt that we want the discussion and we believe that we are actually right in saying that there should be a discussion. The BJP is already isolated. Sadly,it is already isolated.
It is riding a tiger and doesn’t know how to get off. If someone helps them to get off the tiger. No problem, he said.
BJD says it does not favour demand for PM resignation
BJD today said it did not favour the demand for resignation of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh but wanted a discussion on his statement in Parliament immediately.
The ruling party in Odisha was also not in favour of the demand to cancel all coal block allocations as was being demanded by Left and some other parties which held a dharna in Parliament House complex to demand a debate on the matter.
“We are not saying the Prime Minister should resign. We want a discussion on his statement which is contradictory. The statement has raised more questions than resolving them. Only a discussion can throw light on the incongruities that have happened (on the coal block allocation issue) since 1993,” BJD leader Bhartruhari Mahtab told reporters here.
He said his party had given a notice in Lok Sabha for a special discussion on the Prime Minister’s statement. The debate was listed on August 28 but could not be taken up as the House was adjourned following BJP uproar over the coal block issue.
Asked why they did not join the dharna,he said,”We do not want blanket cancellation of all coal blocks that have been allocated. Our government has given some blocks to the private sector which would give value addition to Odisha.”
Apart from these,the Centre had given some more coal blocks to certain other private parties which the BJD government had not recommended,he said. “We have already sought a review of these allocations,” Mahtab said.
To a question whether they were with opposition NDA or with UPA,he quipped,”We are with Odisha”.