Coal block issue: BJP leaders demand President's intervention
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BJP on Wednesday took its grievances against Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress-led UPA to President Pranab Mukherjee, demanding his intervention on the coal allocation issue and attacks on a Constitutional institution like CAG.
BJP Parliamentary Party chief L K Advani, Leader of the Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj, her Rajya Sabha counterpart Arun Jaitley and Public Accounts Committee chairperson Murli Manohar Joshi met Mukherjee and submitted a memorandum expressing "deep anguish and profound concern" over the Prime Minister and Congress questioning the CAG report on coal scam.
"MPs and high functionaries belonging to the Congress party and the Prime Minister himself have gone public in criticising the CAG's report. Motives, including that of having political ambitions, have been openly attributed to the CAG.... What is most shocking are the statements of the Prime Minister in Parliament and public on August 27," the party said in the memorandum.
BJP alleged that CAG's authority in conducting performance audit has been challenged several times.
"In Parliament, the Prime Minister had said the observations of CAG are clearly disputable and further that CAG's findings are flawed on multiple counts," it said.
Talking to reporters later, Advani maintained that the BJP delegation met the President as "it is his duty as defender of the Constitution" to look into the matter.
"When the Prime Minister himself uses such language it gives a license to his followers to do so too," he said.
Mukherjee heard the views of the BJP leaders patiently and promised to look into the matter, he said.
BJP also referred to a press release from PMO on August 27 itself stating that the observations of CAG were disputable and that they will be challenged when the matter comes before PAC.
"The Prime Minister, occupying the high Constitutional position, by issuing such a statement is in fact converting a bipartisan discussion in PAC into a highly polarised partisan debate. This will render PAC totally dysfunctional. The consequences are fraught with grave dangers to all forms of financial accountability....," it said.
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