BJP, CPM attack govt on KG Basin contracts

BJP and CPI(M) attacked the government on the reported CAG findings on KG Basin gas contracts given to Reliance Industries.

New Delhi: BJP and CPI(M) on Friday attacked the government on the reported CAG findings on KG Basin gas contracts given to Reliance Industries (RIL), demanding the resignation of Union Minister P Chidambaram and a probe into the leakage of the report as well as the charges.

PAC chairperson and senior BJP leader Murli Manohar
Joshi asked the government to come clean on how the audit
report by the Comptroller and Auditor General was leaked to
the media even before it has been tabled in Parliament.

"How was the CAG draft report leaked to the media? This
is unprecedented. Has the government instituted an inquiry
into the matter? This is a matter of privilege. The CAG
report cannot be published before it is placed in the
House," Joshi told reporters.

He said he is likely to move a Privilege Motion in the
Lok Sabha on the issue.

Joshi insisted that since the government has not denied
the contents of the report which have been carried in the
media, the government should answer the charges.

The CAG report has alleged that between 2004-06, the
Petroleum Ministry circumvented rules to allow Mukesh Ambani`s
Reliance Industries Limited (PIL) to benefit at the cost of
government`s own financial stake in development of KG Basin,
considered India`s largest gas fields.

Joshi held then Finance Minister P Chidambaram and then
Petroleum Minister Murli Deora responsible for this scam.

"Co-incidentally, then the Finance Minister was P
Chidambaram. As Home Minister he has sent a wrong list of
names (of India`s most wanted living in Pakistan). Now
questions are being raised about the manner of his election to
the Lok Sabha. I strongly demand that he should be removed
from the Cabinet," Joshi said.

Asked if the Prime Minister should also be held
responsible for the scam, he said Manmohan Singh has a
"special feature of keeping at an arm`s length" all
contentious issues.

"Both the Prime Minister and Congress President Sonia
Gandhi are silent on this issue," he said and alleged that the
government is "promoting corruption".

Joshi insisted that since the CAG report is at the
"vetting stage" it should be tabled in Parliament at the

The CPI(M) too attacked the UPA government, saying the
Prime Minister and the Union Cabinet should take full
responsibility for the CAG audit findings and order a probe
into it.

"Under the principle of collective leadership in
government, the entire leadership is culpable. The Prime
Minister and the Union Cabinet must take full responsibility
and order an inquiry into the matter," CPI(M) leader Sitaram
Yechury told reporters here.

Maintaining that they would raise the issue in
Parliament, he said, "The Prime Minister is on record to say
that India can ill-afford crony capitalism. But the worst form
of crony capitalism is happening under his leadership."

There has been a raging controversy over the Comptroller
and Auditor General`s draft report severely criticising Oil
Ministry`s role in approving Reliance Industries` KG-D6
"inflated" field costs. The ministry has said no one should
jump to conclusions as the report is yet to be finalised.

"This is yet another example of crony capitalism, as we
saw in the scams relating to 2G spectrum, Commonwealth Games
and Adarsh society, where sweetheart deals are given to
private companies, allowing them to make windfall profits", he


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