India

India parliament adjourned over $33bn coal scandal

The Gevra coal mine in the central Indian state of Chhattisgarh
Image caption India is one of the largest producers of coal in the world

India's parliament has been adjourned for a day after opposition MPs called on PM Manmohan Singh to quit over a recent report that the country lost $33bn by selling coalfields cheaply.

Angry MPs shouted and crowded aisles in both the upper and lower houses.

The government auditors in their report last week said coalfields were allotted without auction from 2005 to 2009.

The report by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) has, however, exonerated Mr Singh.

But, opposition MPs say the PM was directly responsible since he was heading the coal ministry then.

On Tuesday, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pawan Bansal said the prime minister would not quit and offered to discuss the auditor's report in parliament.

But the opposition blocked proceedings, forcing the two houses to be adjourned for the day.

India is one of the largest producers of coal in the world.

The auditor's report on the sale of coal is the latest in a series of financial scandals to hit the Congress-led government and the revelations have caused anger among the opposition politicians and citizens alike.

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