I did not recommend anyone to Iraqis: Naik | india | Hindustan Times
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I did not recommend anyone to Iraqis: Naik

india Updated: Aug 10, 2006 23:11 IST
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Former Petroleum Minister Ram Naik on Thursday said he had neither recommended anyone to Iraqi authorities nor taken undue advantage of his official position while dealing with them in the Food-for-Oil Programme.

"I do not know on what basis my Communist friends have questioned my conduct," he said on Thursday night, reacting to the CPI charge that some industrialists who had accompanied him to Iraq, had made money in the Oil-for-Food Programme.

"My case is entirely different from that of Natwar Singh who used his official position. He used Congress party letterheads and had support of his party president in dealings with the Iraqi authorities," Naik said.

"It is true that representatives of some companies did accompany me to Iraq. They were there for doing business," he said.

"In fact, I flatly refused a suggestion by Iraqi authorities that they be paid a commission in their deal for supplying crude oil to India," Naik said. "I told them that we will pay them nothing else than the agreed price," he said.

CPI had on Thursday demanded an enquiry into the "conduct" of former Petroleum Minister Ram Naik alleging that some industrialists, who had accompanied him to Iraq during NDA rule, had made money in the food-for-oil programme as he had introduced them to the Iraqi authorities.

Maintaining that the Pathak Authority did not probe all dimensions of the issue, CPI leader Gurudas Dasgupta said, "We demand an enquiry into the conduct of the former Petroleum Minister, who was accompanied by a delegation of industrialists."