Congress in fix over Kejriwal's move to prosecute leaders

But won't withdraw support to Delhi govt

The Congress is in a fix over Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s order of filing criminal cases against M Veerappa Moily, Murli Deora and Reliance Industries chief Mukesh Ambani for allegedly colluding to hike gas prices from RIL’s K G Basin gas fields.

The party could neither welcome the action against perceived acts of corruption nor could slam the move as such remarks run contrary to the strong anti-graft stand taken by Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi.

“Congress is not against any probe irrespective of it being any minister or anybody, who had an authority if there is wrongdoing. But the probe should not be influenced by any political vendetta. The consideration of the probe should not be political,” AICC Communication Department chairman Ajay Maken told reporters here.

“The only questions are – Is it a political vendetta? Is it within the Constitutional jurisdiction of the Delhi government? We are not against any inquiry and we hope that Delhi government would have taken note of these two parameters,” Maken said.

Party leaders said that the Congress was­ not planning to withdraw support to the Kejriwal government over this issue as it would go against the anti-corruption stand taken by Gandhi.

Petroleum Minister Moily countered Kejriwal saying the pricing of petroleum products was done in consultation with experts. “Kejriwal thinks that we can take out oil just like taking water from a well in a bucket, (but) we cannot take the oil like that,” he added.

Reliance Industries termed the move “shocking”. It said the complaints on which the decision to register a criminal case on gas price revision was taken was “devoid of any merit”.

UB Group chairman Vijay Mallya, a member of the Rajya Sabha, said Kejriwal was pursuing “unconventional methods” to attain his objectives. However, he added that there should be no witch-hunt against industrialists.

Samajwadi Party, which gives outside support to the UPA government, also attacked Kejriwal for registering FIRs against Union ministers and industrialists, saying it was all a “drama” to hide inefficiency” and to attain “political martyrdom”.

However, CPI leader Gurudas Dasgupta welcomed Kejriwal’s move to take up the case of KG Basin and the hike in gas prices.

“It is a total fraud committed by the government, particularly Moily, in allowing a steep hike in gas prices from four to eight dollars on the basis of an unsubstantiated survey,” Dasgupta said.

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