Parakh, who on Tuesday was accused by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) of irregularities in the allocation of coal blocks, spent much of Thursday lashing out at the charges in intervies to TV channels and newspapers.
He vehemently reiterated that the Prime Minister, as head of the Ministry of Coal, took the final decision on the controversial allotments and said if he was being accused, the PM too must be charged.
Parakh along with Aditya Birla Group chairman Kumar Mangalam Birla were named by the CBI on Tuesday in its fourteenth First Information Report (FIR) in connection with the coal scam.
"The PM cleared the decision... he is the final decision-maker," Parakh said on Wednesday.
Explaining his actions, Parakh said, "Mr Birla told the PM that we are the first applicant and are equally eligible and competent and our request has been unfairly rejected. He also met me and made a similar representation. I found there was merit because they (Hindalco) were the first applicant."
Seizing the opportunity, the Opposition renewed its attack on the government as senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Yashwant Sinha said Prime Minister Manmohan Singh should be made the No. 1 accused in the coal scam.
"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," he said.
"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," Sinha added.
Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) leader Sitaram Yechury called for "a thorough revelation of who did what and on what basis".
The coal scam had sprung into headlines after 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 17-10-2013)