The Congress has expressed surprise that the contents of the Comptroller and Auditor-General's report indicting the Union Petroleum and Natural Gas Ministry for “bending” rules to oblige Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) in the Krishna Godavari basin gas fields reached the public domain before they reached the Ministry concerned.
On Monday, party spokesman Manish Tewari, to a question, said a CAG report was made public only after it went through a process — first, it was given to the Ministry concerned for its comments, then to the President, who sends it to Parliament, and finally it goes to the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) for scrutiny before it is put in the public domain. “How did the CAG report reach the public space before it even reached the Ministry,” Mr. Tewari asked. “The process of finalising the report is not complete and it has been leaked. The same happened with 2G. It has not even been responded to by the Ministry. The CAG should look into these issues seriously. How is it that incomplete reports are being leaked,” he asked. The party would comment on the report once it was finalised.
On Tuesday, when another senior party functionary was again asked a question on the CAG report on the Petroleum Ministry, he, too, said this was not the final report.
Curiously, while the Bharatiya Janata Party made a general attack on the government on corruption, it gave an answer not very dissimilar to that of the Congress. To a question, BJP spokesman Prakash Javadekar said on Tuesday: “Let us wait for the final report.” He added, “What has appeared [in the newspapers] points to the reckless exploitation and loot of India's natural resources. This is again a pointer to what we have been repeatedly saying — the government is not interested in tackling corruption.”
On Monday, however, another BJP spokesman Rajiv Pratap Rudy declined to respond to questions on the subject, saying he had not read the report carefully, though it was pointed out that it had appeared prominently on the front page of several newspapers.