Cong returns coal fire, says where’s the loss
By Santwana Bhattacharya - NEW DELHI
30th August 2012 11:11 AM
With Parliament not meeting till Thursday, the Congress used the day in between to return the fire on the BJP. The ruling party released documents to allege that coal blocks were allocated in ‘far more ad-hoc and non-transparent’ manner during the NDA-led regime. It also accused the saffron party of launching a broadside against its government because of its desperation to come to power any which way’.
Taking leaf out the BJP’s strategy, the Congress on Tuesday fielded one of its own ‘legal luminaries’ Union Minister Kapil Sibal and the newly anointed spokesperson Sandip Dikshit to take on the BJP at his party headquarters. The eye-to-eye ball confrontation on the raging coal controversy has taken a heavy toll on the monsoon session of Parliament.
Realising that it won’t be easy, if not impossible, to win the battle of perception by flaunting a few technicalities of the government coal allocation policy, the Congress on Tuesday mounted a scathing political attack on the BJP for painting its government as corrupt and incompetent.
Also rejecting the BJP’s demand for cancellation of the licences for coal block allocation, which the CAG says caused huge loss to the exchequer, Sibal said, “Who will return the money to the (private) companies which paid for the coal blocks-the BJP? Maybe they can, if they manage to squeeze Karnataka a little more. It’s a complex economic issue. The allottees in most cases took bank loans’’ so such an exercise ‘’will affect the finances of the banks as well.’’
Accusing the BJP for “trying to play with the economic system of the country just to come to power’’, Sibal said, it would be the aam admi who would ultimately end up bearing the impact of the increased cost of power and steel if the blocks are cancelled and prices of coal go up. “Then again they would blame the government for price rise-it’s a sort of trap.’’
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