Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday announced that FIRs are being filed against Petroleum Minister Veerappa Moily, former minister Murli Deora, Reliance Industries chairman Mukesh Ambani and others over the issue of pricing of gas from KG Basin.
Addressing a press conference, Kejriwal said four people had complained to the Delhi government against Reliance Industries, following which the Anti-Corruption Branch has been directed to lodge FIRs and initiate a probe.
“I’ve received complaints. The Reliance Industries manipulated gas pricing with some ministers,” Kejriwal said.
The price of natural gas was raised to USD 4/unit and Reliance followed it up by producing less gas due to which India had to import gas, leading to inflation, Kejriwal said.
“Now plans are to raise the gas price to USD 8/unit. If the price is raised from April 01, there will be a hike in prices of essential commodities as well,” he said.
He also demanded that the Central government should take the gas wells back and give it to state-run ONGC.
“The ACB is is in the process of filing FIRs against Murli Deora, Veerappa Moily, Mukesh Ambani,” he said.
Kejriwal added that he would take the matter up with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and demand that the hike in price of natural gas from April 01 be kept in abeyance.
The Congress said that it was not against a probe. “We want each and every act of people in power to be probed,” Ajay Maken, party spokesperson, said.
Petroleum Minister Veerappa Moily also responded. “We should sympathise with his ignorance. He doesn’t know how the government runs, norms are followed. There is a system in fixing prices,” Moily told a news channel.
Delhi Congress leader Haroon Yusuf slammed Kejriwal, he said, “If there is rape charge against AAP MLA’s relative no action will be taken as being related to AAP he would be ‘honest’. They(AAP) want to register an FIR on everyone in the country except for AAP members.”
Experts too have pointed out that the issue of gas pricing is a matter between the Centre and Reliance Industries and the Delhi government has no jurisdiction over the matter.
“If AAP has concrete proof then must present it, otherwise such false allegations can affect investment,” said Narendra Taneja, petroleum expert.
Others felt that Kejirwal is raking up the issue as the first step in his progression from Delhi to the national scene ahead of the General Elections, due in a few months.
It is not the first time that AAP is coming up with what they claim are explosive revelations. In 2012, Kejriwal held a series of press conferences to level serious charges of corruption against Salman Khurshid, Nitin Gadkari and Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Industries.
AAP had accused the government of collusion with Reliance and alleged that Reliance deliberately keeps gas production low to blackmail the government.
Last week, Kejriwal had attacked Anil Ambani over the electricity standoff in the capital.
“Anil Ambani playing politics wid delhi’s electricity? Whose politics is he doing?(sic),” Kejriwal said in the tweet.