|Jamshedpur MP Ajoy Kumar at the news meet at circuit house on Monday. Picture by Bhola Prasad
Ranchi/Jamshedpur, Sept. 10: JVM president Babulal Marandi today wrote to the Prime Minister, denying that he had recommended allotment of coal blocks to private companies even as his party upped the ante against the UPA-led Union government over the Coalgate scam.
In a fax note to Manmohan Singh, Marandi claimed that he never recommended any private company’s name for coal blocks throughout his political career and that there was a ploy to malign him. He also urged the Prime Minister to immediately publish the names of political heavyweights, who recommended allotment of coal blocks to private companies.
In Jamshedpur, JVM MP Ajoy Kumar said that he and his party chief Marandi had jointly written to Singh, urging him to hold a meeting on the controversy and seeking details on allocations of the coal blocks from 1996 till date.
Addressing mediapersons at the local circuit house, Kumar said that if they failed to get a reply from the Prime Minister within 20 days, both he and Marandi would sit on a dharna in front of Singh’s house in New Delhi.
“We want the Union government to declare a white paper or at least give details on who made recommendations for coal block allocations since 1996,” said Kumar.
The Jamshedpur MP further said that he would file an RTI in the Lok Sabha on Wednesday to get the names of those who had made the recommendations.
“Two coal blocks were sanctioned during Babulal Marandi’s tenure as the chief minister. Both the sanctions were made by the government of India (Punjab State Electricity Board and GVK). We are seeking the details to clear our name as we believe that a deliberate attempt is being made by some parties to malign Babulal Marandi,” Kumar said.
He hit out at the BJP, which had targeted Marandi on the coal block allocation scam. Kumar said that he had information that many BJP MPs had recommended companies for coal blocks during the NDA rule in 1998-2004.
“Not only the NDA government at the Centre, but some MPs from the state were also responsible for allocation of coal blocks to private companies in Jharkhand,” Kumar said.