Congress seeks PM’s response to KG Basin report

The Congress forced three adjournments in the Rajya Sabha in the pre-lunch session on Monday, demanding a response from Prime Minister Narendra Modi to a report of the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) that details irregularities in Gujarat’s KG Basin gas project during his time as Chief Minister of the State.

Rushing into the Well of the House, Congress MPs shouted, “Pradhan Mantri jawab do, jawab do [Prime Minister must answer],” as they sought a discussion on the subject in the House.

The government’s contention — reiterated outside the House as well — was that the CAG report in question was being examined by the Public Accounts Committee of the Gujarat assembly and therefore it could be discussed there. There was no convention to discuss such a report in Parliament.

However, under pressure from the Congress, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Mukthar Abbas Naqvi announced in the afternoon that the notice for discussion had been sent to Rajya Sabha Chairman Hamid Ansari — and it would be his call.

Later, Congress leader Jairam Ramesh told journalists that this was a victory of sorts. He explained why the KG Basin issue was a national and not a State issue: “Loans worth Rs. 19,700 crore were taken by the Gujarat State Petroleum Corporation (GSPC) not from the market but from a consortium of public sector banks headed by the State Bank of India… Further, the oil in the KG Basin is national property, not that of one State.”

To questions why the Congress had raised this now, given that previous CAG reports had dealt with the issue, Mr. Ramesh said: “This is a far more detailed report, as far as the financial data is concerned; it lists the contractual decisions. And finally, the Gujarat Congress has been raising the issue since 2009. This is the first time we have raised it nationally.”

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Printable version | Jan 28, 2022 12:46:39 AM |

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