PM is No. 1 accused in coal scam: BJP

New Delhi, Oct 16 : India's main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Wednesday said Prime Minister Manmohan Singh should be made the No. 1 accused in the coal scam.

He was reacting to former Coal Secretary PC Parakh, who on Wednesday, said Singh is the third conspirator in the coal scam.

"The PM cleared the decision, he is the third conspirator. He is the final decision-maker," said Parakh.

"Parakh should now speak up. He must make public statements on how files were disposed of at that time, how chits were received from Congress party headquarters in the PMO (Prime Minister's Office) and PMO transmitted those instructions to the Coal Ministry for allotment of coal blocks," senior BJP leader Yashwant Sinha told media.

"The Prime Minister should be accused No. 1 in the scam. We all know that as the Coal Minister during the period, he gave his nod and signature to every allotment of coal block," he said.

On Tuesday, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) filed its fourteenth First Information Report (FIR) in connection with the coal scam where it named Parakh and Aditya Birla Group chairman Kumar Mangalam Birla.

According to reports, the CBI is conducting searches in Hyderabad, Kolkata and Mumbai in connection to the case.

The Comptroller and Auditor General's (CAG) report on coal block allocation estimated a loss of Rs 1.86 lakh crore to the national exchequer owing to irregular allocations.

The CAG named 25 private companies as beneficiaries of coal block allocations in various states. They included companies like Essar Power, Hindalco, Tata Power, Tata Steel and Jindal Steel and Power Ltd.

--IBNS (Posted on 16-10-2013)

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