Petroleum minister Jaipal Reddy slammed the BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi for launching a “personal” attack on home minister P Chidambaram for his role concerning the Comptroller and Auditor General’s (CAG’s) observations in its draft report that has indicted the government for alleged favours to private firms.
“It is not very edifying for a senior member like Joshi. He is hunting for headlines. He should leave the job to younger people in the party and not indulge in this,” Reddy said.
Joshi, who is the chairman of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), has demanded that Chidambaram should be dropped from the Cabinet for his alleged misdeeds in leaking the PAC report, sending wrong data of most-wanted persons to Pakistan, his role in the 2G
scam and for the rise in fuel prices when he was the finance minister.
The draft CAG report said the ministry of petroleum and natural gas and its technical arm, the Directorate General of Hydrocarbons, allegedly favoured Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) by allowing it to inflate the development cost of its landmark KG-D6 gas field in Andhra Pradesh.
The company has denied these charges.
Reddy said the petroleum ministry would examine the draft report of CAG with an “open mind” and send in the responses within eight weeks.
The petroleum minister said the draft CAG report did not make any mention of the $4.20 per mmbtu price fixed for RIL’s KG-D6 gas.
“Chidambaram was the member of an Empowered Group of Ministers (EGoM) which fixed the gas price. It was not an individual decision. It was not Chidambaram alone,” Reddy said.
“If decisions taken by EGoM are to be criticised personally, then there is no shelter for ministers... If this is the way criticism is mounted, it will be difficult to take decisions. Everybody will pass the buck,” Reddy said.