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Insiders sniff revenge

Calcutta, June 5: Coal Bhawan has been swirling with talk about a revenge theory that finally led to the suspension of .K. Sharma.

Sources said Sharma’s promotion to the chairman’s post in February 2001 sparked off a row as he was the second man in the Public Enterprises Selection Board (PESB) panel. The first name on the list was that of Balaswamy Akala, Sharma’s senior in CIL.

On November 18, 2000, the ministry of coal formally recommended the appointment of Akala as chairman of CIL and the file went to the ministry of personnel the next day. On October 28, it was placed before the minister.

But curiously, at the same time, CBI had registered a case against nine people; the fourth name on the list was Akala’s, whose house was raided.

The episode benefited Sharma, as Akala could not make it to the top. Sharma became chairman in February 2001.

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