If PM pushed reforms, Coalgate could have been averted: Parakh
Parakh, who has been accused in one of the FIRs by the CBI probing Colagate, was responding to questions from reporters whether the scam could have been avoided if reforms had been pushed through by the government.
Auction of coal blocks in open market and e-marketing of coal, as proposed, would have ensured that there was no scam. Asked about the FIR against him in connection with allocation of Talabira-II coal block in Odisha, Parakh said: ‘CBI said there was a conspiracy, I am not saying there was a conspiracy, but if CBI thought there was a conspiracy then conspiracy has to be between people who take decisions.
‘So you had prime minister who has finally taken the decision. So, if I am a part of conspiracy he(PM) has to be a part of the conspiracy,’ he said. Parakh was named in an FIR by the CBI with Kumarmanglam Birla for allegedly entering into a conspiracy to get the coal block allocation in favour of Hindalco. On undermining the authority of the prime minister, Parakh said besides ministers including Shibu Soren and D S Rao, MPs cutting across the party lines were responsible for scuttling the reforms in the coal ministry.
Various coal ministers including Shibu Soren and Dasari Narayana Rao besides MPs cutting across the political class scuttled reforms in the Coal ministry that could have prevented the coal scam despite full support of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in pushing reforms, Parakh said.
These two ministers resolutely opposed my proposal to put coal blocks to open bidding. Unfortunately, the Prime Minister was not able to control his ministers in the proposal that I made in 2004...I saw in the Ministry how Chief Executives and Directors of PSEs are appointed,’ he told reporters here. ‘Money is openly asked for appointment of directors and CEOs. I saw MPs becoming blackmailers and extortionists. They blackmailed officers, they blackmailed CEOs of government companies. I saw how ministers have reversed the decision of the Prime Minister, who had agreed to putting coal blocks in Internet-based auctions,’ he said.