In what seems like an orchestrated campaign, the heads of Coal India Ltd (CIL) and Citu, an associated trade union, are now asserting that there was no irregularity in use of the collections for the Prime Minister’s Relief Fund. But the gaps—both of time and in amount—between the collection and the release, and the reluctance in revealing the details asked in the RTI filed by a CIL employee, suggest otherwise. It can’t be a coincidence that a decision on releasing the J&K money took two years—this August—after the gaps became public knowledge.
What stands out is that had it not been for the RTI filing, which was followed up by Mint and then by other papers, and an inquiry by the PM’s Office, the irregularities wouldn’t have been exposed. This clearly reflects on the state of governance in the country. As, sadly, does the allegation by Citu, in its letter justifying the gap to Manmohan Singh, that the PM’s fund actually doesn’t reach the affected people.