Home >Companies >BJP’s coal scam whistleblower says campaign will continue

New Delhi - Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) lawmaker Hansraj Gangaram Ahir, whose 2010 letter to the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) is said to have led to the discovery of wrongdoing in coal block allocations, said he will continue the campaign to push the government to scrap the allotment of 142 blocks made after 2006.

A fully laden truck carrying coal drives out of an open-cast coal mine as excavation work continues in the village of Jina Gora, near Jharia. Daniel Berehulak /Getty Images

Ahir, who said he wrote letters to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in 2006 and to the Central Vigilance Commission in 2009 saying it was wrong for coal blocks to be given away, said the BJP will meet on 13 September in New Delhi and finalize a strategy to take the campaign forward.

“It will take the form of public awareness against the government’s mismanagement of natural resources," said the MP from Chandrapur in Maharashtra. “Society is gradually getting to know the value of the properties that were given away."

Protests by the BJP-led opposition parties demanding Prime Minister Singh’s resignation and cancellation of the coal block allotments led to a washout of the monsoon session of the parliament. The government didn’t agree to the demands, choosing instead to get the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and an inter-ministerial group (IMG) examine the allocations.

CAG, which submitted its report on 17 August, alleged a notional loss of Rs1.86 trillion on account of the allocations. CBI has filed a first information report that names five coal block owners while the IMG is set to submit its recommendations on deallocations on Saturday.

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