Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Monday sought to make a statement in the Lok Sabha on the controversial coal block allocation but nothing was audible in the din raised by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) members who were demanding his resignation.
Singh later laid the speech on the table of the House. The Lok Sabha was then ordered adjourned till 2 pm.
The prime minister while addressing mediapersons outside Parliament accepted "full responsibility for the decisions of coal ministry" whose charge was with him during the period assessed by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG).
Rajya Sabha, too, was first adjourned till 12 noon. When it met again, the ruckus forced Deputy Chairman P.J. Kurien to order another adjournment till 12.30 pm.
Highlights from PM's media briefing -
- 'I take full responsibility for decisions of Coal Ministry whose charge was with him during the period assessed by CAG'
- 'I wish to say that any allegation of impropriety is without any basis and unsupported by facts'
- 'Observations of the CAG are clearly disputable'
- 'The policy existed since 1993 and previous govts also allocated blocks in precisely the manner that the CAG has now criticised: PM'
- 'I wish to assure the country that we have a strong and credible case'
- 'Once again I appeal to the Opposition to come back to the House to debate on these issues and let the country judge where the truth lies'
- 'Opposition-ruled states like West Bengal, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Odisha and Rajasthan were strongly opposed to switchover to competitive bidding'
- 'CAG observations will be challenged when the matter comes before Parliamentary Committee'
With inputs from agencies