One Coalgate, many statements: Who said what

From ‘œnothing went wrong’ in coal allocations to ‘œsomething went wrong’ ‘“ the central government has changed its stance many times. To rekindle your memory, let’s go down the ‘œstatement lane’ on “Mother of all scams”.

From “nothing went wrong” in coal allocations to “something went wrong” – the central government has changed its stance many times. Attorney general Goolam E Vahanvati told the honourable Supreme Court of India on Thursday that “something went wrong” with the coal block allocations by the UPA government.

This “mother of all scams” has showed us many aspects of many people. From silly statements to strong rejections and emotional rage, this scam has it all. Even prime minister Manmohan Singh displayed another emotional side of his straight face – anger – by slamming opposition on dragging him in this “mother of all scams”.

To rekindle your memory, let’s go down the “statement lane” from various people associated with it.

Sriprakash Jaiswal, then coal minister: “The CBI has asked for files…the files could not be located…”

Supreme Court on missing files: “Is it an attempt to destroy files?”

Sushma Swaraj, leader of opposition in Lok Sabha, on missing files: “This is no longer a case of missing files, it is a case of stolen files.”

Arun Jaitley, leader of opposition in Rajya Sabha: “Files don’t disappear, they are made to disappear.”

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s reply: “I am not the custodian of files of the coal ministry.”

Legislators in Parliament during monsoon session last year: “PM chor hai.”

Sitaram Yechury, CPI-M leader: “We have asked PM to clarify. Why is government not transparent in the matter… are they protecting anyone?”

Anand Sharma, commerce and industry minister: “The prime minister did nothing wrong by signing the coal allocation file. You cannot hold decision-making to ransom so that nobody takes a decision, everybody is fearful.”

Sriprakash Jaiswal: “The entire nation knows about the commitment and honesty of the prime minister. He does not need any certificate from any quarter to prove his honesty.”

PC Parakh, former coal secretary: “PM is as responsible as anybody.”

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s clarification in Parliament over missing files: “over 150,000 pages of documents have already been handed over to the CBI, which clearly shows that our intention to facilitate the process of investigation cannot be called into question…Let me assure this august house that the government has nothing to hide.”

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