As The Peat Burns
- CAG says 57 coal blocks allocated since 2004 would have earned Rs 1.86 lakh crore had there been bidding.
- Four of the 57 blocks are located in Congress-ruled Maharashtra; rest are in NDA/non-Congress states such as Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa, Jharkhand, Rajasthan
- Government sources point out that while the UPA wanted to introduce bidding, NDA state governments and Left Front in West Bengal opposed it
- CBI raids five firms. Among them is Congress MP and media baron, Vijay Darda, whose brother Rajendra is a minister in Maharashtra
- BJP demands summary cancellation of coal allocations; Centre says due processes and procedures must be followed, asks why CAG did not look at 32 blocks prior to 2004
Until the digging begins, one never knows the quality of the coal (or any mineral, for that matter) the earth will yield. A similar mystery is now unfolding overground—how and why were so many companies allocated coal mines despite not meeting the requisite criteria of financial strength or clear end-use project for which the captive mine was sought?