The Congress on Friday said there is still time for chief minister Naveen Patnaik to recommend a CBI inquiry into the coal block allotments in the state to clear his name and prove his claim of transparency.
“If the chief minister is so clean on the coal block allotment, why did he remain silent to an Assembly question and the demand for a White Paper on coal block allotment in 2009?” asked leader of the Opposition Bhupinder Singh at a press conference here while reacting to the clarification of the chief minister on writing a letter to the prime minister making a case for allotment of the Talabira II coal block to Hindalco.
Justifying his contention, Singh read out the observation of the Supreme Court which stated; “The decision taken by the state government is not in terms of the directions of the revisional authority and has been taken in hot haste and without due application of mind” in recommendation to the Centre for allotting the coal block. The State Government has taken different stands at different points of time for different applicants.”
Singh said the stand taken by the state government is totally inconsistent and the mineral policy of the state is in complete mess. The state government, he said, has adopted a policy that would suit the situation and suit favoured parties.
The Opposition leader maintained that the clarification of the chief minister regarding Hindalco would remain baseless till he issues a clarification on how many such favours had been shown to other companies and the kind of value addition made to coal after this allotment. The chief minister should also clarify what state interests had been served through this coal block allotment, he said.
Singh also recalled that the chief minister had rejected the proposal for coal block allotment to Hindalco when he was the Union minister in the NDA government.