Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has dismissed the possibility of his resignation and has said he did not want to get into a slanging match with political leaders, reports said.
"Can't get into slanging match with political leaders. It is better, as said I earlier, I keep silent," reports said citing the PM.
The Opposition, led by the BJP, has been adamant with its demand for Singh's resignation and the cancellation of coal block allocations over the Comptroller and Auditor General’s (CAG) reports and have paralysed Parliament for eight straight sessions.
The CAG reports have estimated “undue benefits” of over Rs.3.06tn to private parties in coal block allocation without bidding, Delhi Airport development and diversion of coal to a power project. The auditor also says that allocation has caused a loss of Rs. 1.86tn to the national exchequer.
The PM is under attack over the allocation during 2005-2009 when he held the coal portfolio.
Speaking about the Opposition’s demand for his resignation, Singh said "If I were resigning, I would not be here." He was referring to Iran's summit of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) where he represented India.
On Friday, Samajwadi Party’s Mulayam Singh Yadav, seen as a friend of the UPA who bails it out of difficult situations, led a protest at Parliament, demanding an immediate end to the paralysis of both Houses, and asked for a Supreme Court judge to supervise an investigation into the coal block allocation issue.
Law Minister Salman Khurshid indicated that the government may not be entirely opposed to Mr Yadav's suggestion. He said requesting a judicial investigation “can only be decided at the highest level - that of the PM” but added “I am not sure that even if the government accepts it... whether the proposal will be accepted at the Supreme Court,” reports said.