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New Delhi: Congress-ruled Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh on Wednesday took an identical stand like the opposition-ruled mining states to squarely blame the Centre in the Supreme Court for alleged irregularities in coal blocks allocation.

The state governments’ stand assumes significance as they contradicted the position taken by attorney general G.E. Vahanvati who had contended that Centre’s role is confined only to identification of coal blocks.

Maharashtra government told a three-judge bench headed by justice R.M. Lodha that allocation of coal blocks is “entirely controlled and regulated by the Centre".

Senior advocate Vivek Tankha, appearing for Maharashtra government, submitted that the state has a minimal role to play in the allocation and “it is just a subordinate party in the process."

Andhra Pradesh government also took a stand similar to Maharashtra.

After hearing the contention of the states, the bench said that the stand taken by them is in contradiction with the arguments put forward by the attorney general on behalf of the coal ministry.

West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, Odisha and Chhatisgarh also told the apex court that they played a minimal role in coal blocks allocation and had squarely blamed the Centre for alleged irregularities in coal blocks allocation.

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