Kejriwal questions removal of Jaipal from oil ministry | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Kejriwal questions removal of Jaipal from oil ministry

Activist-turned-politician Arvind Kejriwal today tweeted that UPA government has kicked out honest man Jaipal Reddy from the oil ministry and promoted corrupt Salman Khurshid.

delhi Updated: Oct 29, 2012 17:29 IST
UPA cabinet reshuffle

Activist-turned-politician Arvind Kejriwal on Monday tweeted that UPA government has kicked out honest man Jaipal Reddy from the oil ministry and promoted corrupt Salman Khurshid. He also asked if Jaipal Reddy lost his job for promoting Reliance and will the new minister V Moily work for the Reliance.

He tweeted, "Why did Jaipal Reddy lose his job? For resisting Reliance? Oily Moily will now work as per Reliance? So, LPG and power prices set to rise?

On Sunday too Kejriwal had said that corruption has been incentivised in the cabinet reshuffle. By appointing Salman Khurshid as external affairs minister and elevating him to the 'big four' in the cabinet, the Congress has clearly shown it won't succumb to the pressure tactics of anti-corruption activists or the Opposition, he said.

"The corrupt are not just protected but also rewarded," Kejriwal had tweeted. "Salman was law minister and has been made foreign minister. Does that mean he has failed as law minister or that he did so well that he was made foreign minister? The country won't benefit from it."

According to media reports, is deeply upset by his transfer from the Oil Ministry to Science and Technology, widely perceived as a demotion. His removal from oil ministry has been attributed to his taking on Mukesh Ambani's Reliance Industries.

Though Reddy himself has not said anything his supporters say he is considering registering some sort of protest with his party.

Reddy took on Reliance over its DG gas fields in the Krishna Godavari (KG) basin.

Meanwhile, shares in Reliance Industries rose as much as 1.5 percent on Monday on hopes the appointment of a new oil minister would improve what has been seen as a contentious relationship between the energy conglomerate and the Indian government.

Veerappa Moily was appointed as the country's new Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister, replacing Jaipal Reddy, as part of a broader cabinet reshuffle unveiled on Sunday.

"Sentiment-wise this would be positive, as with the earlier minister approvals were not coming on time. Talks between the company and the ministry may improve," said an industry analyst at a large domestic brokerage, who declined to be identified.

VK Vijayakumar, Investment strategist at Geogit BNP Paribas, said Moily may fast track some approvals. "Further approval regarding the joint application by
Reliance Industries and BP for KG-D6 gas might get expedited, that is one possibility," he said.

Reliance, controlled by billionaire Mukesh Ambani, Asia's second-richest man, has clashed with the oil ministry under Reddy over gas output at the conglomerate's KG-D6 block in India's east coast.

Reliance and partner BP Plc have blamed a decline in pressure and water ingress for falling production, and sought an increase in gas prices to justify higher expenditure to develop the block, but the government has so far remained unconvinced.

Hopes of an improved relationship were raised last week, when the oil ministry -- which must approve key work at KG-D6 --did approve Reliance's plans to further develop natural gas output at the block, according to local media reports.

Moody's Investors Service said the approval was a positive development for Reliance's credit profile as it signalled an improvement in a "thorny" relationship.

"If this improvement in relations between RIL and the government of India continues, we expect both sides to also reach a decision on gas prices," Moody's said in a weekly report on Monday, which made no mention of the change of oil minister.

Reliance shares were up 1.2 percent as of 0520 GMT outperforming a 0.36 percent gain in the main NSE index. Reddy will become the new Minister of Science and Technology and Earth Sciences in the latest reshuffle. Moily was previously the minister for corporate affairs & power.

(With Reuters input)