Kejriwal trains guns on Ambani, Deora, Moily over gas pricing

Arvind Kejriwal, continuing to act like a vigilante opposition leader rather than the chief minister of Delhi, today came down hard on Mukesh Ambani's Reliance Industries Ltd, which operates the gas fields in the Krishna-Godavari Basin off the Andhra Pradesh coast.

Murli Deora, Mukesh Ambani, Veerappa MoilyCiting a complaint lodged by four people to his government against RIL over gas pricing, Kejriwal told the media that he has ordered the anti-corruption branch of the Delhi Police to file a criminal case against Mukesh Ambani, former petroleum minister Murli Deora, and current minister Veerappa Moily, as well as the former chief of the directorate general of hydrocarbons, V K Sibal.

Kejriwal alleged that RIL's gas price is not based on cost of production, and that the company has created an artificial shortage of fuel in the country. He said the company is charging double for the gas from the K-G Basin and making windfall profits.

He said RIL's partner Niko was selling gas in Bangladesh $2.4 mmBtu from the same wells and there was no case for RIL to charge more for the same gas. He also said there was no case for RIL to double its charges from April from $4.2 to $8.4 mmBtu for it, which would lead to an all-round price hike

He demanded that hike in price of natural gas from 1 April, as mandated by the union government, must be kept in abeyance, adding that if the price of domestically produced natural gas is hiked, there it will have a cascading effect on the prices of essential commodities.

He also said that he would write to the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh as well as oil minister Moily on the issue.

The Aam Admi Party chief actually accused the Congress and opposition parties of a conspiracy of silence as they took bribes before the Delhi elections, which brought him to power.

Reacting to Kejriwal's charges, Veerappa Moily said, "I should sympathise with him, he should know how government functions there is a certain system to fix prices."