Rahul Gandhi: tell us about Coalgate files, how UPA vanished them

Rahul Gandhi is going to town repeating outrageous lies about the Rafael deal. He alleged that Anil Ambani had been given Rs 1,30,000 crore in the case, whereas the whole deal was worth Rs 58,000 crores only, of which the value with which Ambani’s company dealt was no more than 800 crore. Rahul Gandhi later reduced this figure to Rs 30,000 crore ignoring completely the answers given by Union Ministers Arun Jaitley and Nirmala Sitharaman in Parliament.
The reasons for Rahul Gandhi lying like this are simple-his party itself in a ditch, and he needs support from anyone he can get- the poor, the so-called ‘lower’ castes, minorities, and others to get his party out of the ditch, and hence he is making false charges on the PM, and of course to deflect attention from the Agustawestland case, where Christian Michel has been extradited to India, and from the National Herald case in which Rahul Gandhi is out on bail. But in all this, a very important scam from the UPA time has been forgotten, and that is the Coalgate one.
Rahul Gandhi has to be questioned about it. At the time of the UPA rule, in 2013 or so when this scam became crystal clear, Rahul Gandhi made very rare appearances in the media, and had no Twitter account, and so escaped answering tough questions.
Delhi correspondent of Marathi daily Tarun Bharat, Ravindra Dani wrote a very important article on the Coalgate scam on 26 August 2013 in Tarun Bharat. Its English translation is given [translated by this writer from Marathi to English]. This was during the UPA 2 rule. Now Rahul Gandhi is claiming to talk of ‘corruption’, and calling the Prime Minister of the country a ‘thief’. Rahul had earlier in 2017 lied about Amit Shah’s son Jay Shah too. Such lies Rahul parroted on twitter, and in rallies in Gujarat. We would all like to ask Rahul some questions about the deeds in the last year of his party’s rule. The following is Ravindra Dani’s article in Tarun Bharat dated 26 August 2013.

 “Files reduced to Ashes

When Union Coal Minister Shriprakash Jaiswal of the Congress entered Parliament with an angar on his forehead in August 2013, there was a reaction-‘This angar is not of God-religion, but of the Coalgate scam’s missing files’.
Parliament was rattled by the missing files of the Coalgate scam. It was expected that after it was brought to light that some files of the scam are missing, its impact would be seen in Parliament. But, thinking from the other perspective, the files going missing was also expected.
   

   Indications towards 10, Janpath

Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh had shed some light on the Coalgate scam while returning home from a foreign trip. ‘I have not allowed a single mine. Not a single relative of mine is in this, there is no support to a single industrialist from me. It is correct that I had the additional responsibility of the Coal Ministry when the coal scam was happening. But, there is absolutely no role of me in this scam. Whatever I did was as per the telling of Sonia Gandhi’s Political Advisor Ahmed Patel. I allocated the coal mines as per the recommendations of Ahmed Patel.’
    
The ramifications of this statement of Dr Manmohan Singh were seen in a Mumbai newspaper. After that, 10, Janpath gave up the plan of removing Manmohan Singh and instead took the position of defending him. It is now being thought that the files were disappeared out of the strategy of ‘Save Manmohan’. Had these files been given to CBI or CBI accessed them, it would have been nearly impossible to save Manmohan Singh. And if Manmohan Singh had been in trouble, then he would have pointed to Ahmed Patel to save himself. And from that, 10, Janpath would have been in trouble. It was necessary to get rid of the files to avoid all this, and this was done very efficiently.

                                                Number of files

  
It is difficult to say exactly how many files of the Coalgate scam are missing. The UPA government is saying that only 7 files are missing, whereas the CBI is saying that this number is more than 250. Opposition members of BJP and other parties are saying that more than 1100 files are missing. The number of missing files is a relatively less important point. The government has accepted the fact of files missing of the biggest ever scam in the history of the nation. The Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has said that: “He is not a custodian of these files.” These files are being searched for. On the other hand, the office of the CAG (Comptroller and Auditor General of India) has said that they have Xerox copies of some of the missing files. Firstly, it is not clear which files are missing. There is no possibility of it becoming clear either. Therefore it will also not be clear that the Xerox copies with the CAG are of which files. And there is absolutely no possibility of the CAG having Xerox copies of the files which are missing. There is no reason for the UPA Government to vanish the files whose copies are with the CAG. The Government has that much intelligence and understanding.
This means that very important files have been vanished by the government, the possibility of which being found is absolutely nil. The Congress government which used all its might to suppress the 64 crore Bofors scam, made a minister like Madhavsinh Solanki a ‘sacrificial lamb’, put all sorts of obstacles in the investigation, far from searching for the missing files, has made comprehensive arrangements that they won’t be accessed by absolutely anyone. According to a leader, it is not possible to search for those files. Because they are now not in existence at all. They have already been reduced to ashes. This statement of this leader is held to be correct. The files, documents which are troublesome for 10, Janpath are directly burnt. This is the unwritten rule of the Delhi Durbar. There is no reason why the Coalgate files will be an exception to it.   

Eyes on the Supreme Court

The missing files of Coalgate are not going to be found. Even though the Opposition parties have tried to ask the government an answer in Parliament, the only important issue now is what position the government takes in the Supreme Court. The government had interfered with the status report of the Coalgate investigation. The then Law Minister Ashwini Kumar had called the Director of CBI and told him to make some changes in it. The Supreme Court took a serious note of it, and not only rapped the CBI Director, but also started the process of making CBI autonomous. In this case, only Ashwini Kumar had to give resignation. The answer to the question- “On whose telling did Ashwini Kumar do the job of interfering with the CBI report?” has also been got now. Ashwini Kumar has been appointed as the Special Ambassador of the Prime Minister to strengthen ties with Japan. That is the status of Cabinet. The meaning of this is clear. The Prime Minister who realized that Ashwini Kumar was made a sacrificial lamb in the attempt to save him (Manmohan) has in a way returned the favour to Ashwini Kumar. It will be important to see what stand the Supreme Court, which took a strong position on the tampering of a report of the Coalgate scam, takes on the issue of missing files.

                                                           FIR to be filed?

Government files vanishing is an offence. The CBI will have to register an FIR in that reference. The Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley has already made such a demand. Which names are taken in the FIR filed by the CBI will be known after the CBI files the FIR.”
   – (26 August 2013, Tarun Bharat)

Later, in December 2013 the CBI (caged parrot under UPA) claimed to have found some missing files of the period from 2006-09, but certainly not all. And none of the files missing from the period of 1993-2004 was found, which were the ones which the then Union Minister Shriprakash Jaiswal had admitted were missing. The SC had condemned the UPA Government for allowing files to go to missing in this Coalgate scam. Over missing files, the government, then led by the UPA, had incurred the wrath of the Court when the Ministry was asked in 2013 if it was “an attempt to destroy records” to impede the CBI investigation. The top court had then pointed out that the missing files could be the crucial records for certain cases being probed, and that if the Ministry was unable to trace them, the CBI should register complaints into the issue.

On its directive, the CBI had in September 2013 lodged two preliminary inquiries into missing records, which comprised at least 18 files related to allocation of coal blocks. The then leaders of opposition in both the houses of the Parliament — Arun Jaitley and Sushma Swaraj — from the BJP, had alleged that the files were made to disappear pursuant to a conspiracy by the UPA to screen some offenders.

In an article titled: “Coal mines, missing files and caged parrots: 10 things you need to know about Coalgate” Business Standard had reported in August 2014:

“2) The CAG in its final report in August 2012 said the actual loss to the exchequer because of non-auctioning of coal blocks between 2004 and 2009 was about Rs 1.86 lakh crore, almost a tenth of what initial media reports had been saying.

3) The CAG report’s most damning statement was that the government had had the option to go the competitive auction route by mid-2006, following an opinion by the law ministry, but chose not to do so. Manmohan Singh was Prime Minister at the time in the UPA government and held the coal ministry portfolio briefly in 2004 and then for almost five years between 2007 and 2012.

4) Subsequently, after a complaint by 2 Bharatiya Janata Party members in 2012, the Central Vigilance Commission directed the Central Bureau of Investigation to institute a probe.

5) In mid-August last year [2013], the coal scam took a twist after Coal Minister Sriprakash Jaiswal admitted that some crucial files relating to the investigation between 1993 and 2004 had gone missing. The admission came after a Supreme Court directive to the government to co-operate with the CBI’s inquiry.

6) The scam became notable for the role of the CBI in the investigation, as well as the propriety of various bureaucrats and ministers. Early in 2013, CBI director Ranjit Sinha admitted to the SC that its initial report on the scam had been shared with the law minister as well as bureaucrats from the coal ministry and the Prime Minister’s Office and that certain changes had been made to the report. This had prompted the Supreme Court to term the CBI as a ‘caged parrot’.

7) This admission also led to Law Minister Ashwani Kumar has to resign his position.

8) Some of India’s blue-chip companies have also been named in the scam, including Essar, JSPL, Tata Power, and Hindalco. The CBI had also named Kumar Mangalam Birla, chairman of the sprawling Birla group, in a first information report (FIR) relating to Hindalco but on Sunday said it would close the case against the tycoon as well as that against P C Parakh, who was coal secretary during the period when the coal block allocations were made. The CBI will also not question former prime minister Manmohan Singh or Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik in the case.

9) Earlier this year, Parakh caught everyone by surprise when he said that Manmohan Singh could have, but did not, stop coal ministers Shibu Soren and Dasari Narayan Rao from reversing his own decisions to auction coal blocks. He was speaking at the release of his book Crusader or Conspirator: Coalgate and Other Truths.

10) On Sunday, former CAG head Vinod Rai revealed that he had faced pressure from the UPA government to leave out certain names from the CAG’s report.”

Now the question arises, Dear Mr Rahul Gandhi, what about the missing coal scam files? The Government was of the UPA, and many files vanished. The ‘caged-parrot CBI’ itself said 250 files were missing whereas the Opposition had alleged 1100 files missing.  What did the UPA do to ‘find’ the files? Of course, it burnt them to ashes. But exactly how many? 1100, 250 or 7? In any case, files vanishing is an offence. Who is responsible for that in UPA? Rahul-Sonia who did this to save themselves and Ahmed Patel and the then Prime Minister? Who put pressure on CAG Vinod Rai to leave out certain names from the CAG’s report? Was it the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, or was it Sonia Gandhi, or was it, Rahul Gandhi? We want an answer on this from Rahul!

The transparent auctioning of the Coal mines done by the Narendra Modi Government earned revenue of 2 lakh crores or so for the country, with only a small percentage of the mines auctioned. More was earned from spectrum auctioning with some more mines auctioned. When all mines will be auctioned, the revenue will be much more. It shows that the loss the nation suffered due to Coalgate scam of the UPA was not even 1.86 lakh crores, it was much more than that.

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