Columnist Rasheed Kidwai, known for his close ties with the top leadership of the Congress party, has made an interesting claim in his latest article eulogising the late Motilal Vora. In the column published on India Today, Kidwai claimed that former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was lobbying for an individual during coal block allocation.
Rasheed Kidwai made this claim in the article that he actually wrote to praise Motilal Vora, former treasurer of the All India Congress Committe (AICC), towards whom Rahul Gandhi has reportedly pointed the finger during his interrogation by the enforcement directorate in the National Herald case. As the image of the late Nehru-Gandhi family loyalist was getting tarnished, another loyalist Rasheed Kidwai came ahead to write an article praising Motilal Vora’s modesty and his staunch loyalty to the Congress party.
In an attempt to glorify Motilal Vora’s importance, Rasheed Kidwai went on to share that Motilal Vora’s words carried more weightage than that of Manmohan Singh when the latter was the Prime Minister of India. To prove his claim, Kidwai shared an incident that essentially revealed that Manmohan Singh was lobbying for someone during coal blocks allocation.
Rasheed Kidwai, senior journalist and a Congress insider, in his enthusiasm to eulogise Motilal Vora, who Rahul Gandhi, according to media reports, blamed for the AJL scam, suggests that former PM Dr Manmohan Singh was lobbying for a coal block and was asked to go through Vora! pic.twitter.com/EvgLDdBkn8— Amit Malviya (@amitmalviya) June 19, 2022
In his article, Rasheed Kidwai wrote, “Vora was being characteristically modest. He was anything but inconsequential. Congress folklore has it that once Dr. Manmohan Singh, who was the prime minister then, had reportedly approached a minister, gently suggesting a person’s name perhaps someone he knew personally as having the perfect credentials for the allocation of a coal block. The prime minister was told to route the suggestion through Vora.”
Rasheed Kidwai did not stop here. He further went on to describe how the man chairing the most important office in India during the UPA regime was less relevant than the long-term loyalists of the Gandhi Nehru family.
Kidwai wrote, “In fact, throughout the 10 years from 2004, when the Congress-led UPA was in power at the Centre, telephone calls and oral messages from Vora and fellow party veteran Ahmed Patel carried more weight in the corridors of power than those of cabinet ministers and the Prime Minister’s Office.”
The Coal scam during the UPA government
The mega coal scam, known as Coalgate in Indian media had been a major embarrassment for the Manmohan Singh-led UPA government. Huge irregularities in the allocation of coal blocks had come to light in 2012 when the CAG had stated that the government had sold leases for 200 coal fields at low prices to benefit a few and cost the ex-chequer the loss of about 1.86 lakh crores. Then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s office had also come under the scanner for alleged involvement in this coal scam