Former Coal Secy blames PM for Coalgate
A day after the CBI registered an FIR against him for conspiracy and corruption in coal blocks allocation, former coal secretary P.C. Parekh today asserted that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was the final decision maker and must be counted as a “conspirator”.
“If there is a conspiracy, then there are different members in this conspiracy. There is K.M. Birla, who made the representation, he is one conspirator. I, who examined the case and made a recommendation, I can be another conspirator and the Prime Minister, who as the Coal Minister, took the final decision, is the third conspirator”, Parakh said.
The former bureaucrat said that the committee headed by him, which decided on who would get coal licenses, reviewed two applications for the Odisha coal blocks. The first was from Hindalco; the other was from Neyveli, a state-run firm that generates power. Mr Parakh said that after the committee ruled in favour of the state-run firm, Mr Birla met separately with the Prime Minister and to argue Hindalco’s case.
Meanwhile, Mr. Parekh, Industrialist Kumar Mangalam Birla, and others have been booked by CBI in connection with alleged irregularities in the allocation of two coal blocks in Odisha eight years back. The FIR says HINDALCO did not fulfill requirements of coal block but was unduly favoured by the government.
Citing to Mr. Parekh’s recent remarks, the main opposition party BJP left no stone unturned to blame the PMO as Ravi Shankar Prasad said, “Accountability of the Prime Minister and the PMO is equally important. Therefore, we demand a fair investigation.”