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BJP seeks Moily dismissal over funding to trust

NEW DELHI, Mar 19, 2013, DHNS: 2:18 IST

Claims ministers family has received corporate donations

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The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Tuesday demanded sacking of Union Petroleum Minister M Veerappa Moily on charges that his family trust had received donations from ITC’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) fund when he was corporate affairs minister.

“Dismiss Moily,” chanted BJP members led by Ananth Kumar and D B Chandre Gowda during the Zero Hour in the Lok Sabha.

Their shouts were drowned in the din created by DMK and AIADMK members, who had stormed into the well over the Sri Lankan Tamils issue. Moily was not present in the House.

Earlier in the day, the issue was discussed at the BJP Parliamentary Party meeting and it was decided that the matter should be raised in both Houses.

The BJP has accused two Congress ministers — Moily and Minority Affairs Minister Rehman Khan — of misusing their position to seek funds from corporates and said these were other scams in the UPA.

“Moily has misused his position by seeking funds from various companies to the trust owned by his family. Another Minister Rehman Khan has also misused his position by seeking money from various corporates,” BJP Deputy Leader in the Lok Sabha Gopinath Munde told reporters after the Parliamentary Party meeting.

According to media reports, Kissan Sabha Trust, of which Moily is the president, allegedly received donation from ITC’s CSR budget in September 2012.

Details of the donation emerged in a leaked chain of emails between Harsha Moily, the minister’s son and his business partner Sudhir K Prabhu, as well as in filings of the trust. Prabhu is a director of one of the companies run by Harsha. Moily’s wife, daughter and son Harsha are members of the trust.

Conflict of interest

Reports have also raised questions of conflict of interest against Moily in his present role as petroleum minister. Ananth Ravi, president of Reliance Industries, is listed as an advisor of Moksha Yug Access (MYA), a company founded by Harsha.

Harsha Moily, in his clarification, said Ananth Ravi was his mentor since 1999. “Ravi was brought in as an advisor to MYA as a result of a personal relationship built with him when I worked at Reliance between 1999 and early 2002. He played the role of a mentor in MYA during the time when he wasn’t employed at Reliance between December 2010 to July 2011.

“Ravi excused himself from the advisory board upon re-joining Reliance in August 2011. Accordingly, we removed his name from MYA’s website a few months ago,” Harsha Moily added in a statement issued here.

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