Free Press Journal

Kejriwal moves poll panel on Reliance gas price hike


New Delhi: AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal Thursday asked the Election Commission to direct the central government to shelve its decision of hiking the gas price from April 1, terming it a violation of model code of conduct.

“The central government has decided to increase the price of natural gas from April 1 from the existing $4.2 per mmbtu (one million British thermal unit) to  $8.2.” Kejriwal wrote to Chief Election Commissioner V.S. Sampath.

On Dec 19, 2013, the United Progressive Alliance government had approved a hike in the price of natural gas from Reliance Industries’ operated KG-D6 basin from April 2014.

“The policy decision which the government is  set to implement  from April 1  is a clear violation of  the model code of conduct, since it is directly aimed at providing  huge financial benefits to Reliance Industries  Limited,” he added.

“The Aam Aadmi Party seeks urgent intervention of the Election Commission to prevent the  UPA’s central government from implementing an anti-people decision at this critical juncture,” the letter added.

He said the move is likely to cost the country Rs.54,500 crore every year.

“It must be probed by the EC how much money has been provided by the RIL to the Congress and other parties for spending in the elections,” Kejriwal said in the letter.

“It has been reported in the media the Planning Commission Deputy Chairperson, Mr Montek Singh Ahluwalia on March 11, 2014, told the government that it must seek the Election Commission’s approval before announcing and implementing the new price,” the letter said.