The lack of Congress enthusiasm for Prime Minister Mamohan Singh is well captured in the above photo posted on Twitter by @ShivAroor
We are not sure whether or not the Supreme Court's stinging criticism of the Manmohan Singh government had anything to do with this dampening of enthusiasm, but what should the PM do now? Do tell us on by participating in our Facebook poll
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The Congress-led UPA is back in news for manipulating the CBI all over again.
Ritu Sarin and Maneesh Chhibber report in The Indian Express that the CBI is learnt to be inclined to inform the Supreme Court that the controversial probe status report it submitted last month had been vetted by Law Minister Ashwani Kumar and PMO officials: Govt vetted coal scam report, CBI will tell Supreme Court:
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Arun Shourie walks the talk for NDTV with Shekhar Gupta, and the Indian Express has the transcript:
Well, people don’t realise that a country like India cannot be run without institutions. This is the biggest institution under our Constitutional system and then you paralyse it. Whatever the issue, you are inflicting great harm on the country because the institution is getting reduced to what state assemblies are. In state assemblies, now the sessions are only four to five days each. So if you see the effective days, Parliament has already been reduced to the level of a state assembly. Can a country like India be run like that? So whatever the issue, the primary interest must be that you must adopt such methods which will strengthen the institution.
But the explanation is that the coal scandal was so big that to set it in public consciousness in a way that’s so deep that it does not go away, we had to block the Parliament session.
One session casts a shadow on the institution of Parliament forever. And this is not just one session. If you see over the last 20 years, these things have become more and more frequent.
One more winter session was written off on the 2G scam.
Also, each time you do this, it facilitates your doing it the next time. The second point is, consider it from the point of view of the Opposition.You might say, they have brought coal into focus. But consider this: today there is no session of Parliament, what is the result? When a new fact is published by The Indian Express or The Times of India about some aspect of the coal scandal, then the focus is on that fact. But when Parliament was in session and it was not allowed to work on the pretext of the coal scam, what was the result? You helped the government divert the issue from coal to why Parliament is not being allowed to function. So even from a very narrow point of view, that was, in my view, counter-productive. Let me assure you that for 15-20 years now, we have been attending the elongated funeral rites of the parliamentary system.
Read the full transcript on the Indian Express: ‘For 15-20 years now, we have been attending the elongated funeral rites of the parliamentary system’
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In response to the Times of India story of March 22, 2012, titled CAG: Govt lost Rs 10.7 lakh crore by not auctioning coal blocks, which stated that the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) had estimated in its 110-page draft report that the coal ministry's decision to award 155 coal acreages without competitive bidding had led to "undue benefits" of Rs 10.67 lakh crore to private and public firms, the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) today issued a press release saying:
CAG writes to PM clarifying the coal block issue
With reference to the lead story published in the Times of India today titled “Government lost Rs 10.7 lakh cr by not auctioning coal blocks: CAG”, the Prime Minister has received a letter from the Comptroller and Auditor General of India at 1:30 pm today.
Among other things, the letter clarifies that:
“In the extant case the details being brought out were observations which are under discussion at a very preliminary stage and do not even constitute our pre-final draft and hence are exceedingly misleading. … Pursuant to clarification provided by the Ministry in exit conferences held on 9.02.2012 and 9.03.2012, we have changed our thinking …. In fact it is not even our case that the unintended benefit to the allocatee is an equivalent loss to the exchequer. The leak of the initial draft causes great embarrassment as the Audit Report is still under preparation. Such leakage causes very deep anguish.”
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