...few people in his party, the Bharatiya Janata Party, knew of Hansraj Gangaram Ahir, or paid him any notice. Ahir says he found out that coal blocks were being allocated to private companies free of cost during a meeting of the standing committee (of Parliament) on coal and steel in 2005. He then wrote a letter to Shibu Soren, then coal minister, asking him not to allot the 26 blocks identified in Maharashtra but did not get a favourable response.
“In 2006, I started writing letters to the prime minister (Manmohan Singh), cabinet ministers and Planning Commission because I felt that the property of the nation was being looted. But I didn’t get any response. I only received receipts of my letters; no action was taken. The prime minister’s office never wrote back saying that they would investigate the issue,” says Ahir. In the process of researching the issue, Ahir discovered that private companies who had got coal blocks were not using them, defeating the government’s purpose in allocating coal blocks to them. He also learnt that some companies had started selling the coal blocks.
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