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It is surprising that coal minister Sriprakash Jaiswal, a honourable man if there was one, is being hauled over the coals for his admission, before Parliament, that some files on the allotment of coal blocks that have since turned controversial enough for the Supreme Court to supervise the investigation into the affair, are missing. Jaiswal himself and the Prime Minister’s Office are under a cloud.

Still, anything could have happened to these files. They could have spontaneously combusted, as indeed, some varieties of coal do.

The rats (and there are rats in government buildings, after all) could have gotten to them.

Anti-corruption activists or the opposition parties could have smuggled them out in a bid to discredit Jaiswal and the Prime Minister.

And the role of aliens, whose diet includes cellulose found in paper, cannot be ignored.

Why blame the minister?

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