Delhi government’s decision to order filing of an FIR against Petroleum Minister M. Veerappa Moily, former minister Murli Deora and RIL chief Mukesh Ambani for alleged collusion to hike the prices of natural gas has invited sharp criticism from Samajwadi Party even as CPI’s Gurudas Dasgupta welcomed the move.

UB Group chairman Vijay Mallya, on the other hand, said that the Delhi Chief Minister was pursuing “unconventional methods” to attain his objectives while adding that there should be no “witch hunt” against industrialists.

The case will be based on a “common complaint” filed by former Cabinet Secretary T.S.R. Subramanian, former Navy Chief Admiral R.H. Tahiliani, eminent lawyer Kamini Jaiswal and former Union Secretary EAS Sarma.

Alleging that there was collusion between ministers, officials and Reliance Industries Ltd to hike the prices of natural gas from KG basin, Mr. Kejriwal said the details in the complaint were “shocking” and amounted to anti-national activity as it was an assault on the country’s economic sovereignty.

Hitting back, Mr. Moily said that fixing of the prices of petroleum products was done as per expert advice. He also said that he took special interest in ensuring that CNG and PNG prices were reduced.

“I think I should sympathise with his ignorance. He should know how the government functions, how these things are done ... You should know that I took special interest to ensure that CNG and PNG prices were reduced,” Mr. Moily said.

“It is not the question of Mukesh or Deora... There should be a certain system for fixing the prices. I think nothing is done without expert advice,” Mr. Moily said.

“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.

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 attain “political martyrdom”.

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