Hyderabad, June 1 - The CPI on Thursday demanded that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh reply to charges of irregularities in allocation of coal blocks instead of evading an answer over the issue.
“The CAG report submitted to Parliament says that the losses incurred by Government due to the allocation of coal blocks to private companies is higher than even the 2G scam. The CAG said the coal blocks were alloted when the portfolio was held by the PMO.
“The PM asserts he is clean but his responsibility would not go by saying so. He should reply what is his responsibility and that of the PMO,” CPI general secretary S Sudhakar Reddy told reporters.
“The Prime Minister is trying to evade a reply by saying that he is clean and that his integrity cannot be questioned. PMO had a role in the matter and we demand that he take responsibility for it,” he said.
Training his guns on Prime Minister, Reddy wondered why Manmohan Singh remained silent when CPI sought cancellation of licences in the 2G issue in 2008. “The probe (into 2G scam) was held only after the Supreme Court intervened. What was his responsibility in this,” he said.
“How can Singh claim to be clean when 22 MPs were purchased to save his Government during the no-confidence motion moved after the Left parties withdrew their support to UPA-I over the Indo-US nuclear deal in 2008, the CPI general secretary alleged.
“He can prove his integrity by explaining the PMO’s role in coal gate and also the role of his party in purchasing the MPs,” he said. On the petrol price hike, the CPI leader demanded that the Centre and also states should reduce the taxes imposed by them on petroleum products to alleviate the burden on common man.
Slamming Petroleum Minister S Jaipal Reddy for his reported comments that all parties indulged in populist measures, he said it is meaningless to describe the demand for reducing the “abnormally high taxes imposed by the Government” as populism.
The CPI general secretary demanded that a white paper be released on the benefits accrued to private companies due to the hike in petro prices. PTI