The Communist Party of India (CPI) is gearing up to step up its agitation against Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) at the KG basin gas extraction sites located in the Krishna- Godavari basin after the panchayat elections.

At a press conference here on Tuesday on the Reliance Gas issue, CPI State secretary K. Narayana termed it a ‘dacoity in full public glare’.

“How can a private company dictate terms on the gas price, a national asset? It has even got the audacity to get the Petroleum Minister concerned (Jaipal Reddy) removed from the post, as he had put his put foot down on the issue.

Even the Rangarajan Committee report was ignored by the Congress government to favour the RIL,” he said. He further added that the government would lose big time if it allows the gas price to rise from $ 4 to $ 12.

He also pointed out that the RIL’s logic of hiking the gas production rate on the international dollar fluctuation was baseless. Quoting the recent Supreme Court judgment: “Ownership of minerals vests with owner of the land”, he said, “KG basin area belongs to the State and hence the State has the right to dictate the price.

The RIL has to give gas to the gas-based power plants in the State at a subsided rate. The State was, however, not keen on negotiating the terms. It appears that the democratic system has surrendered to the RIL’s economic policies,” he opined.

On the agitation plan, he said that their main focus would be at the ground level.

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