The Telegraph
Monday , September 3 , 2012
Since 1st March, 1999
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New Delhi, Sept. 2: L.K. Advani has echoed in a blog post what Sushma Swaraj has tweeted.

“The NDA has offered to resolve the deadlock if all the allotments made are cancelled and the process whereby the screening committee has decided these allocations is subjected to a judicial probe. The government is not yet prepared for this,” Advani said in a blog post today.

Neither Advani’s post nor Sushma’s tweet on Saturday evening specifically made the Prime Minister’s resignation a condition for discussions, although the leader of Opposition said today there was no change in the position vigorously pursued by the BJP over the past week.

Advani kept up attack on the Prime Minister on coal block allocation issue and said his explanation in Parliament on the matter was “totally unconvincing”.

Strongly defending Chhattisgarh chief minister Raman Singh on the issue, Advani said his party colleague was “fully justified” in demanding a share in the revenues earned by the state as a result of competitive bidding and this cannot be construed as opposition to auction of coal blocks.

Advani said it was now “universally acknowledged” that allowing discretionary allocation of precious resources like spectrum, oil, gas and minerals gave ample scope to people harbouring corrupt and collateral intentions.

“The 2G spectrum scam has been a recent instance to prove this. The price of Rs 1,658 crore fixed for an all-India licence in 2008 was not the market value then. No wonder, under adverse market conditions, in 2012 the government itself has fixed the base price for 2G auction at Rs 14,000 crore,” he said.

“If the NDA’s demand that the discretionary allotment of coal already made should be scrapped and the coal blocks be auctioned is accepted and implemented, the truth would surface as to what is really the fair price presently,” he said.

Advani said he was “intrigued to find that federalism ... was sought to be blamed by the Prime Minister in his totally unconvincing explanation” in Parliament on the coal block allocation issue.