Opposition wants PM to go; Cong says no
Irregularities in the allocation of coal blocks disrupted both the houses of Parliament yesterday, with the government and the Congress rejecting the opposition's demand for the resignation of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Law Minister Ashwani Kumar over the issue and a parliamentary panel suggesting cancellation of all mines given since 1993.
Both the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha were repeatedly disrupted before being adjourned for the day as the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) demanded the resignation of Singh and Kumar, who allegedly toned down a CBI affidavit related to the coal blocks issue.
“The BJP parliamentary party has decided that the prime minister should resign and the law minister should be removed in the light of the series of scams and the brazen way in which the government has sought to suppress the truth from coming out,” BJP Spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad said.
He added that the coal blocks affidavit, wherein the Central Bureau of Investigation was being ‘pressurised’, was also discussed at the meeting.
“In this, Law Minister Ashwani Kumar and the Prime Minister’s Office have a role. He was trying to correct the grammar of the CBI’s affidavit. Since when did CBI need an English tutor like the law minister,” Prasad said. However, Congress President Sonia Gandhi rebuffed BJP’s demand. “Let them ask,” Gandhi said. She also met Singh along with senior cabinet ministers, before the report was tabled in the Lok Sabha.
Expect growth at 6.4 per cent for this fiscal: PM panel
The Indian economy has ‘bottomed out’ and is expected to grow at 6.4 per cent in the current fiscal against the estimated 5 per cent expansion registered in the previous year, the prime minister’s economic advisory panel said yesterday.
“The economy has bottomed out and we will achieve higher growth of 6.4 per cent in the current financial year,” Prime Minister’s Economic Advisory Council Chairman C Rangarajan said while addressing a press conference in the national capital.
He said the growth would accelerate further if the government expedite clearance for major projects.