BJP and other rivals of Congress on Wednesday said that former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is facing charges in the coal block allocation scam because of the “party’s sins” and there should be no political intervention in the issue.
Eminent lawyer Prashant Bhushan termed the summoning of Singh by a special court as a “very good sign that goes on to show that the judicial system can function”.
The BJD maintained that nobody is above law saying extreme care has to be taken when allegations are made against someone like a former Prime Minister to ensure the issue is not politicised.
The party insisted the allegations have to be examined in free and fair manner.
“It is a Congress scam because letters (seeking allocation for certain players) would come from somewhere else in the government. Jayanthi Natarajan (Environment Minister during Singh’s regime) has already said how the letters would come to recommend or block projects. Even in court, it is well-known fact that there was extra mis-influence used and therefore, the CBI enquiry,” said Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar.
He further said that Congress general secretary Digvijay Singh had remarked yesterday that the ex-Prime Minister wanted auction, but the party did not allow him.
“And today, because of this Congress sin or Congress scam now, Manmohanji, an economist Prime Minister, has to face CBI charges. This is yet another blot on Congress and now all other parties siding with Congress and opposing transparent auction will reconsider their stand I am sure,” he said.
Asked about the UPA government allocating blocks based on recommendations of the then Odisha government led by BJD, the party’s MP Jay Panda said it was in line with BJD’s stand of giving priority to those industries which set up in the state.
“Regarding the recommendations you are talking about, the Odisha government has had a very consistent stand throughout that priority has to be given to industries which are setting up in the state to have their assured supply of raw materials.
So in this regard, the state government has consistently recommended this.
“It has been in favour of auction of mines. It has been in favour of assured supply of coal, other minerals to those process industries which have set up in Odisha. With regards to this particular case, Odisha government had asked the Centre to consider all these requests and take judicious decision,” Panda said.
CPI-M insisted that the law should take its own course.
“The law should take its own course and there should be no political intervention,” CPI-M Parliamentarian P Rajeev said.
Former CBI director Joginder Singh termed Manmohan Singh as an honest man, but said it was for the court to decide the matter.
“I don’t believe that Manmohan Singh has taken a single penny from anybody. He is impeccably honest. I don’t think one can find fault with him. But finally it is for the court to decide. I have no comments to make on court. The court is free to summon anybody if they find guilty. But where the evidence will come from?” he asked.