Amid an escalating political row over coal block allocation, the BJP today brought the battle to President Pranab Mukherje demanding his intervention and also asked him to advice the UPA government that it is not right for it to attack the CAG.
The Congress lashed out at the principal opposition party BJP for its stand on the coalgate row with its leader Digvijay Singh alleging there was a clear similarity between the anti-Bofors campaign against the government in the late 80s and the present one on the coal block allocation.
As Union Ministers from the Congress fanned to various states in a bid to counter the BJP campaign, Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad said in Lucknow the CAG has not stated that the government or the prime minister has minted money through wrong methods but has only said that had it been through auction it would have earned this much profit.
The UPA's outside supporter Samajwadi party also hit out at the government with its supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav saying, "Newspapers today reported that ministers on the first day of taking charge allocated coal blocks to their relatives." The reputation of Congress has been tainted throughout the country due to scams, he said in Kolkata.
In New Delhi, BJP Parliamentary Party chief L K Advani, Leader of the Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj, her Rajya Sabha counterpart Arun Jaitley and PAC chairperson Murli Manohar Joshi met Mukherjee and submitted a memorandum expressing "deep anguish and profound concern" over Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress questioning the CAG report on coal scam.
"MPs and high functionaries belonging to the Congress party and the Prime Minister himself have gone public in criticising the CAG's report. Motives, including that of having political ambitions, have been openly attributed to the CAG.... What is most shocking are the statements of the Prime Minister in Parliament and public on August 27," the party said in the memorandum.
"We told the President that we have come to you as our concern is that when constitutional institutions are weakened or not given due respect your intervention is required... Our opinion is that your intervention becomes important. You should advice the government that it is not right for it to do this," Advani told reporters.