Rama Krishna Sangem
Telangana State Planning Board Vice-Chairman B Vinod Kumar on November 12, Saturday teared into Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s statement that SCCL (Singareni Colliers Company Limited) will not be privatized. The PM was addressing a public meeting earlier in the day at Ramagundam, after unveiling a slew of programmes and projects in Telangana.
“Is it not a fact that Union Minister Prahlad Joshi while replying on behalf of PM Modi told Lok Sabha that SCCL coal blocks would be sold in open auction? asked Vinod releasing a statement through social media in response to PM Modi’s claims at the public meeting. Joshi was replying to a question from Congress MP N Uttam Kumar Reddy on December 13, last year.
“Joshi in that statement also made it clear that the Centre had rejected SCCL management’s request for handing over those coal blocks to it instead of auctioning,” pointed out Vinod Kumar. “I want the PM to make it clear whether his statement at Ramagundam is corrector or that of Prahlad Joshi in Parliament?” said Vinod, questioning the conflicting claims by the PM and a Union Minister on SCCL privatisation.
SCCL privatization has been a contentious issue in the coal belt area of Telangana, spanning several districts.Most of the labour unions are up in arms against proposals for privatizing the company. Some trade unions have even called for a bandh on Saturday, protesting against PM Mod’s visit to the coal belt area. CM KCR and all the TRS ministers and leaders have abstained from the PM’s programme at Ramagundam.
PM Modi at Ramagundam leveled charges indirectly against CM KCR for spreading falsehood on the SCCL privatization. “Some people from Hyderabad are deliberately spreading rumours on this. I would like to make it clear that there was no such proposal before our government,” said Modi. Vinod’s pointed invention highlighted the contradiction in the PM’s statement.