New Delhi: In a counter-offensive against BJP on the coal block allocation scam, government on Thursday made public letters written to the Centre by BJP and other non-Congress Chief Ministers strongly opposing any changeover to auction of coal mines.

Senior Minister Kapil Sibal released letters from the then BJP Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje of Rajasthan, Shivraj Singh Chauhan of Madhya Pradesh and Chief Secretaries of BJP-ruled Chhattisgarh and CPI(M) ruled West Bengal to argue that the states had a say in the allocation of coal mines and the blame was being put on the Centre.

In a letter to the Prime Minister in 2005, Ms. Raje wrote that changing the allocation policy to auction would take away the state’s prerogative in favour of the lessee. She requested that the existing practice of allocation through Screening Committee should continue.

 Sibal said her letter clearly showed that the states had a say in the selection of lessees.

In his letter, Chauhan wrote to the Prime Minister in November, 2007 seeking approval of use of excess coal from three blocks in the state to the new power plant proposed to be developed by Reliance Power Ltd at Chitrangi Tehsil.