Shipping and Surface Transport Minister T R Baalu on Wednesday admitted that he has "put in a word" with Petroleum Minister for allocation of gas to a company which he had headed in the past.
"I put in a word with the Petroleum Minister. What is wrong in it?," Baalu retorted after AIADMK member V Maitreyan said in the Rajya Sabha that the Minister had misused his official position to get gas for the two companies owned by his sons and their wives.
In his defence, Baalu said he was Managing Director of King Chemicals and King High Power before he became a minister in the previous NDA government.
The companies had entered into an agreement with GAIL for allocation of 10,000 cubic metre gas. However, within days of his resignation from the NDA government in 2003, the BJP cancelled the gas allocation.
Baalu said that on request from many of the 40,000 shareholders and in the interest of employees, he put in a word to the Petroleum Minister. "What is wrong in it? BJP has taken revenge on me," he said.
As Maitreyan raised the issue in his Zero Hour Mention , members of the ruling UPA clashed with the opposition benches, mainly AIADMK and BJP.