The desire that the Prime Minister resigns is receeding. The BJP battle cry has no takers and the Congress has ruled out bringing in a no confidence motion. Will the scrapping of coal blocks apply to the coal blocks granted by NDA government too? The Congress is trumpeting only one sensible message:?” Come and discuss in Parliament”. The logjam is going to continue and UPA II will do nothing drastic, but just stand and watch, like in the past, and report to the Parliament daily and test their patience and wear the opposition out.
It is sad that the Prime Minister is not allowed to make a statement. It is his right and the right of the people of India to hear his views. By obstructing proceedings in Parliament it does not bode well for a democracy. These are repugnant, dangerous bad precedents .
BJP’s Sushma Swaraj was not at all convincing and was a poor choice to drive the message. The UPA II spokespersons demolished their arguments with facts, without any rancour or personal attacks .The remarks of the Prime Minister that there are contradictions in the CAG report and that he would take legal recourse amounts to an assault on our Constitutional body.
The NDA in 2000, cosidered the auction route for allocation. but the protests from their own states that led to the abandonment of the method. The UPA II, with all the delays, has at least managed to get every one on board opting for the auction route.
Most of the blocks are in BJP ruled states .Except for four in Maharashtra and where the States want exclusive use of national resources. The states have a say only in case of minor minerals and the decision otherwise rests with the centre The allotment of 142 coal blocks without auction was to expedite the extraction of coal to meet the demand of power, steel and cement, but most of the coal blocks remained un mined to this date, frustrating the purpose and justification .It appears that it takes a minimum of three years for the gestation of coal, in view of clearances from environment and Naxal affective areas.
The new Environment Minister did not usher in the change that was envisaged. It is again argued that the auction route will make coal expensive and will have its telling effect on prices of electricity, cement and steel. This in turn will depress the demand and hence the growth.