- Gas price increase may be put on hold as Election Commission plays toughMukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries gas price hike boost by govt under EC scannerNatural gas price hike: Mukesh Ambani's Reliance Industries hit by Election Commission orderEC order on natural gas price hike, govt to consult SG or AG, says Veerappa Moily
Aam Aadmi Party today accused Union Petroleum Minister Veerappa Moily of siding with Reliance Industries over the issue of gas pricing and welcomed the Election Commission's directive to Central government to defer its decision of doubling the price of natural gas from April 1.
"The entire world knows why Veerappa Moily was brought to the ministry. It is not hidden secret that Jaipal Reddy had raised objection over hiking of gas price. Moily was brought to do the will of RIL and he did the job dutifully after joining office," Senior AAP leader Yogendra Yadav told reporters here.
While welcoming the EC's directive, Yadav raised questions over "silence" of Congress and BJP on the matter.
"AAP welcomes the EC's decision, but what astonishes us is the silence of Congress and BJP on the issue. We were expecting that both parties will also welcome the decision. But whenever Mukesh Ambani's name crops up, silence of BJP and Narendra Modi amazes us," he said.
EC had yesterday asked the UPA government to defer notifying doubling of price of the fuel produced by companies such as Reliance Industries till general elections are completed.
A new pricing regime was to be implemented from next month for all private and public sector natural gas producers under which rates were to rise to USD 8.3 next month from current USD 4.2 per million British thermal units.
The decision was opposed by Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) which alleged that it was taken to favour RIL.
AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal, who had during his brief stint as Delhi Chief Minister ordered an FIR against Moily and RIL head Mukesh Ambani and others for allegedly conspiring to double gas prices, had asked EC not to approve the revision in rates.
Alleging that UPA Government has violated the Model Code of Conduct, AAP had said that the EC's decision within four days of the AAP National Convenor's letter to the Commission shows that the government was in a hurry to benefit the RIL.
"The EC's decision comes as a major relief for the common man who would otherwise have suffered under the impact of the hike in transportation and fertiliser costs, which would have also pushed up the prices of all essential commodities," AAP had said in a statement.
AAP had said the gas pricing issue has exposed the "nexus" between the RIL and Congress-BJP.
"The gas pricing issue has not only exposed the Congress but also the BJP and particularly its Prime Ministerial Candidate Narendra Modi, who has been maintaining a mysterious silence on this crucial issue.
"In the coming days the AAP will further expose the nexus between the RIL and Congress-BJP combine," the statement had said.
In a series of tweets, Kejriwal had yesterday welcomed the EC's direction while attacking BJP and Congress over the issue.
"Thank u election commission for saving the people of India from huge price rise that would have happened if gas prices had increased frm 1 (sic)," he said in one of the tweets.
"This relief from election commission is only for 2 months till the end of elections. After elections, if cong comes to power, gas price wud be 8 dollars.
"If BJP comes to power, it wud be 16 dollars. AAP wants 4 dollars. Now people have to decide whom to elect. Both Modi and Rahul Gandhi support high gas prices for Ambani. Only AAP has the courage to directly confront Ambani (sic)," Kejriwal said in a series of tweets.