BJP criticises PM for making statement on CAG report in Parliament

BJP said it will continue to demand resignation of the Prime Minister and boycott the 'corrupt' government in Parliament

New Delhi: Criticising Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for making a statement on the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) report on coal block allocation in Lok Sabha, India's main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Monday said it will continue to demand his resignation and boycott the "corrupt" government in Parliament, reports PTI.


"Personally, I think for any minister or anybody to make a statement on the CAG report inside the House is wrong. It’s absolutely wrong. Because the only forum in which the CAG report can be discussed is the Public Accounts Committee (PAC)," BJP leader Jaswant Singh told reporters outside Parliament House.


BJP spokesperson Rajiv Pratap Rudy said his party is not going to take things lying down anymore on this issue and will continue to press for the Prime Minister's resignation as it has already extended enough opportunities to him in the last eight years.


"This is a corrupt government," Rudy said. He maintained that BJP will not allow the forum of Parliament to be used to "legitimise corruption".


BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar expressed disappointment with Singh's statement.


"The country is upset with the Prime Minister's statement. It is not a statement but a list of points of excuses. He is hiding the facts," he said.


Javadekar alleged that Singh has accepted his role in coal allotments.


"He has said one thing correct that he is wholly responsible for the decision and that is why we are saying he has allotted and has put his stamp of approval on every coal block allotment. There are wrong-doings and so he is responsible and that is why he must resign," he said.


Meanwhile, senior BJP leader and former deputy chairman of Rajya Sabha (Upper House) Najma Heptullah said the Prime Minister's statement should not be considered by Parliament as there was no "order" in both the Houses when they were laid.


"According to me no statement was made today. When the House is not in order, the proceeding is not on record", she told reporters outside Parliament.


"I have been deputy chairman for 18-19 years. I have said this repeatedly and today also I told the deputy chairman is a rule, a convention and a record that if House is not in order, than no proceeding should not come to record," she said to buttress her point.


Further, she accused the government of adopting two yardsticks as it allowed former telecom minister A Raja to resign following CAG report on 2G allocation but is shielding the prime minister on the coal allocation scam.


No coal block allocated in my tenure: Jaiswal

In a hurriedly called press conference, Jaiswal reiterated that except the coal block allocations made in UPA-I, no allocations have been made by him

New Delhi: Minister for Coal Sriprakash Jaiswal on Monday said no coal block was given away during his tenure and only allotment letters were issued to some firms to whom coal mines were allocated in the first term of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government, reports PTI.


"I have said time and again that except the coal block allocations made in UPA-I, no allocations have been made. If any Member of Parliament (MP) is making any such statement, then that MP is misleading the media as well as the nation," he said.


In a hurriedly called press conference, Jaiswal also refuted BJP MP Hansraj Ahir reported allegations that he sanctioned coal blocks to three private companies, SKS Ispat and Power, CGSponge Manufacturers Consortium Coalfield and API Ispat and Powertech.


"Only two coal blocks were there, whose names have been mentioned. They were already approved (in UPA-I), but allocation letter was not issued because general elections were declared. Those allocation letters got issued when UPA-II came in to the power," he said.


"Forget 35 blocks, not even 0.35 coal blocks were allocated in UPA-II. You can come to our office and find it out, there is no basis (of the allegations)," he said.


Ahir has reportedly alleged that Jaiswal sanctioned the allocations to three private companies in late 2011 without following the auction route despite the fact that rules for auctioning had come into effect in 2010.


Jaiswal also requested the opposition parties, particularly BJP, to allow Parliament to function after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh making a statement today.


L&T wins Rs749 crore contract from ONGC for wellhead platforms

L&T will engineer, procure, construct and install four wellhead platforms for ONGC spread over the Mukta, Bassein and Mumbai High South fields

Mumbai: Engineering company Larsen & Toubro Ltd (L&T) on Monday said it has secured an offshore contract valued at Rs749 crore from the Oil & Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) for total 'EPCI' or engineering, procurement, construction and installation of four wellhead platforms, reports PTI.


The contract was won against international competitive bidding. The project, spread over the Mukta, Bassein and Mumbai High South fields is part of ONGC's strategy to develop marginal fields to meet India's rising energy demands, a company statement said here.


L&T is scheduled to complete the project by April 2014.


In addition to conventional wellhead facilities, one of the platforms-the B-127, will also have process gas compression facility.


L&T has been serving the upstream hydrocarbon sector since early the 90s. This contract reiterates the long-term association of ONGC with L&T in the development of offshore fields in India.


The company's offshore track record includes successful completion of several challenging projects for domestic and international clients.


L&T provides complete 'EPCI' solutions for the offshore oil & gas industry combining customized engineering and procurement, fast-track project management and world class fabrication & sea installation capabilities, the release said.


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