'BJP should consult own govts before taking on PM'
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Criticising the BJP for attacking Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on the issue of coal block allocation, state Congress media department chairman Manak Agarwal on Tuesday said the BJP should have consulted their governments in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh before going hammer and tongs against the PM.
Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh has already rejected the CAG report on coal block allocation while Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan had asked for additional coal for a power project, Agarwal said.
On November 2, 2007, Chouhan had written a two-page letter to the Prime Minister seeking additional coal for the 4,000 MW power project, he claimed.
The Prime Minister received such requests from chief ministers of various states and this was one of the major reason which influenced Dr Singh's decision on coal block allocation, he said.
It was strange that the Prime Minister was now being targeted by the BJP for causing huge monetary loss to the nation, he said.
Yesterday, the Prime Minister said the policy of allocating coal blocks without competitive bidding existed since 1993 and previous governments also allocated "precisely in the manner that the CAG has criticised".
Dr Singh also said major coal and ignite bearing states like West Bengal, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Orissa and Rajasthan "ruled by Opposition parties" were "strongly opposed" to a switch over to competitive bidding process.
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