New Delhi: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Friday promised that issues raised in the CAG report over coal block allocation would not be “swept under the carpet” and necessary “corrective action” will be taken even as he lashed out at BJP for pursuing obstructionist politics.
He said the CAG, in its report on coal block allocation, has “rightly or wrongly” made certain allegations about public functionaries and the government was ready to discuss these in Parliament and Public Accounts Committee.
“I assure all of you that the issues raised in the CAG report are not being swept under the carpet. They will be discussed in Parliament as they should be. Whatever corrective action is necessary will be taken,” Dr. Singh said in his ‘message to the nation’ soon after the turmoil-ridden Monsoon Session of came to an end.
“The CAG report on coal block allocation should have been discussed in Parliament and Public Accounts Committee but the Opposition chose to cause disruptions,” he said.
The CAG report had criticised allocation of coal blocks instead of auctioning them during 2005 and 2009 and felt that it could have accrued benefits to the tune of Rs 1.86 lakh crore to private firms.
Unhappy over wastage of the Parliament session, Dr. Singh said obstructionist politics amounts to “total negation” of democracy and is hurting efforts to revive growth besides weakening the country.
He asked “all right minded Indians to stand up and unite against the forces of anarchy and disruption” to secure the foundations of hard earned democratic and Constitutional rights”, warning that politics of disruption would be a “grave violation” of democracy and could lead to “deeply divided and disenchanted” country.
Noting that the country is faced with several challenges on security and economic front, Dr. Singh said the government can rebuild growth momentum but is “constantly distracted by the actions of those who prefer obstruction over discussion“.
The Prime Minister said, “We have great respect for the institution of CAG but if we do respect this institution, we must be willing to debate its finding in PAC or even on the floor of Parliament which we have always been willing.”
He said the institution of CAG would be strengthened only by taking its reports seriously enough to discuss them in the PAC and in the House.
“PAC reports deal with complex issues on which there can be different points of view and all these must be heard fully before rushing to judgement. We do not strengthen the CAG as an institution by using its reports to prevent discussion and cause disruption,” Dr. Singh said.
Attacking BJP without naming it, he said, “The Opposition chose not to take advantage of the subtle institutional practices dealing with the reports of CAG and insisted on disrupting Parliament. This is negation of democracy.”
He warned that “If this thought process is allowed to gain momentum it will be a grave violation of Parliamentary politics as we have understood.”
Hitting out at BJP for disallowing functioning of Parliament by pressing for his resignation, Dr. Singh said, “The Opposition chose not to take advantage of the subtle institutional practices dealing with the reports of CAG and insisted on disrupting Parliament. This is negation of democracy.”
The Prime Minister asked “countrymen and countrywomen to make up their mind if this is the right way” to serve the functioning democracy.
“We take pride in the fact that since Independence, we have been a practising and functioning democracy. What we have witnessed in this session is a total negation of that,” he said.
He said, “those who follow this path (of disruption) detract from India’s prestige as the world’s largest Parliamentary democracy. They are unwittingly only serving the ends of those who want to weaken the country and discredit its institutions.”