NEW DELHI, Aug. 24 (Xinhua) -- The Indian government Friday appealed to the country's main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party ( BJP) to allow the Parliament to function even as the deadlock continued for the fourth day in a row with the BJP disrupting proceedings demanding Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's resignation over the coal scam dubbed as "coalgate".
The government auditor, the Comptroller and Auditor General ( CAG) of India has said in a report last week that the country had suffered a loss of over 33 billion U.S. dollars by selling coalfields at cheaper prices between 2005 and 2009, without any auction. The CAG has, however, exonerated the Prime Minister who was also the country's Coal Minister from 2004 to 2009.
Both Houses of Parliament -- the Lok Sabha (Lower House) and the Rajya Sabha (Upper House) -- were adjourned after the BJP rejected the government's demand of a debate and retiterated it would not accept anything short of the Prime Minister's resignation over the coal scam.
Later, reaching out to the opposition, Indian Finance Minister P. Chidambaram claimed that the government auditor's report was flawed and appealed to the BJP to let the Parliament function. "I regret to say the presumptive loss is very flawed. Eminent writers have pointed out this flaw," he said in the national capital.
He added, "We make an appeal to the opposition that when Parliament meets on Monday, we should let the Parliament work. Parliament's business for the whole week has been paralysed. We are very disappointed. The government is willing to debate and discuss any matter in parliament, including the report of the Comptroller and Auditor General on coal."
Indian Coal Minister Sriprakash Jaiswal also defended the government over the coal block allocation issue. "The opposition should let the house function. They are stopping the democratic process of the country."
India is one of the world's largest coal producers.