BJP Attacks Congress Over Coal Block Allocation

Addressing the media in Delhi, Bharatiya Janata Party leader and Union Railway Minister Piyush Goyal said the Madhu Koda government was backed by the Congress when the scam occurred, which put the party and the previous UPA government in the dock.

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BJP Attacks Congress Over Coal Block Allocation

Madhu Koda was found guilty in the coal scam case today. (File)

The BJP today attacked the Congress for allegedly indulging in corrupt practices after a court here found former Jharkhand Chief Minister Madhu Koda guilty in a coal block allocation case and Delhi Police arrested its MLA in a money laundering case.

Addressing the media in Delhi, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and Union Railway Minister Piyush Goyal said the Koda government was backed by the Congress when the scam occurred, which put the party and the previous UPA government in the dock.

The special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court today pronounced Koda and three others guilty of criminal conspiracy in the coal scam case, in which they allegedly illegally ensured allocation of a Jharkhand coal block to a Kolkata-based firm.

Mr Goyal also said that three-time former Congress MLA from Delhi Rajesh Jain was arrested last month allegedly for converting black money through shell companies and hawala after demonetisation.

"Madhu Koda was propped up by Ahmed Patel. The party made Independent legislator Koda the Chief Minister. And at that time, the Jharkhand government was being run by Congress leaders from Delhi. The UPA government had then allocated coal blocks in the 36th screening committee (meeting)," Mr Goyal said.

"All this put then Jharkhand government and the Congress-led UPA government in the dock. The allegations have been proved now... Congress compromised with the national interest and the losses incurred are estimated to be Rs 1.86 lakh crore, as per then CAG (Comptroller and Auditor General)."

Responding to the Congress' demand for a discussion on corruption under the present regime, he said: "BJP governments are not involved in corruption. So, there is no such talk. However, cases of corruption by Congress are coming out again and again. The Congress leadership must answer."

Referring to Rajesh Jain's case, Mr Goyal said it proved why the Congress was opposed to demonetisation.

"Congress must tell whether it will support the (BJP) government in making the country free of corruption and black money or oppose it."

Reacting to Congress President-elect Rahul Gandhi's interview to a local news channel post the campaigning period, Mr Goyal said Gandhi had violated the model code of conduct.

"As per law, the Election Commission is supposed to take action in the case as we understand interview cannot be given within 48 hours before the polling. We are hopeful that the Election Commission will take cognizance of it and take proper action."

He also took a dig at the Congress-led alliance in the state, calling it "unholy".

The minister said the BJP was confident of bagging more than 150 seats in the Gujarat Assembly election and that the undercurrent was anti-Congress.

"It forced the President-elect to violate the model code of conduct and give an interview to channel (when the code was in force)," he said.

"BJP was written off in Uttar Pradesh before the elections. However, we got over 80 per cent of seats while Congress could get just seven."

He also said the BJP believed that Hindu God Ram existed and no damage should be done to the Ram Setu.

Holding the erratic monsoon responsible for the hike in vegetable prices, he said the government would ensure fast distribution to cool off the prices.

He said the government had "finalised" the framework for commercial mining and it was expected to be sent to the Cabinet "shortly".

 

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