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Indian Opposition Blocks Parliament To Protest Latest Corruption Scandal

Opposition politicians are calling for India’s prime minister to quite after new allegations of corruption against his ruling coalition.

Parliament was adjourned for a third day Thursday when Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) members again jammed the aisles and shouted slogans demanding Prime Minister Manmohan Singh resign.

Earlier this week, the national auditor released a report saying the government sold coal fields to private companies between 2004 and 2009 without transparency and competitive bidding. The auditor estimated that private companies made profits of more than $34 billion, money that could have been “accrued to the national exchequer,” the report said.

The national auditor absolved Singh. But the opposition BJP said the prime minister is responsible for the alleged losses because he was in charge of the coal ministry during when the licenses were allotted.

The coal mine scandal follows corruption allegations involving the 2010 Commonwealth Games and the sale of mobile phone licenses.

The opposition has recently increased its use of the tactic of disrupting parliament.

The head of the New Delhi policy institute PRS Legislative Research, C.V. Madhukar, said the shutdown of parliament may eventually impact the Indian economy.

“While the issues that are being raised [by the opposition] may be legitimate, “Madhukar said, “stalling legislation has huge national consequences for all of us.”

 — Reported by Anjana Pasricha for VOA

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