PM should give statement on reports that former Gujarat minister had interest in oil companies: Congress

According to reports, former Gujarat energy minister Saurabh Patel had financial interests in eight onshore oil blocks in Gujarat through a web of companies.

By: PTI | New Delhi | Published:November 22, 2016 7:31 pm
Saurabh Patel, Saurabh Patel corruption, Suryaja, GNRL, oil and gas blocks, india oil, india oil and gas blocks, india gas blocks, Gujarat Energy Petrochemicals Minister, Gujarat Natural Resources Limited, indian express Saurabh Patel (Source: Express file photo)

Alleging corruption, Congress on Monday demanded a statement from the Prime Minister in Parliament on reports that a former Gujarat energy minister, when Narendra Modi was the chief minister, allegedly had financial interests in companies having investments in oil blocks in the state.

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“It is not conflict of interest. It is corruption … the Prime Minister and BJP cannot escape by naming Saurabh Patel … besides an independent probe, we demand a statement from the Prime Minister subject to Parliament questioning him,” Congress spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi told reporters here.

According to a report in an English daily, former Gujarat energy minister Saurabh Patel had financial interests in eight onshore oil blocks in Gujarat through a web of companies. One of his companies invested in a private listed company which is in the oil and gas exploration business.

Taking a dig at Modi, Singhvi said, the “watchman with a 56 inch chest” who had announced that he would not allow any corruption was not aware that the oil and power minister in his cabinet was investing in oil companies.

Singhvi alleged the Patel family has companies which invested in oil and power sector while Patel held power ministry in state for 14 years. These companies also took oil blocks from state enterprise GSPC.

Of the total 14 years that Patel was a minister, 12 years were under Modi as CM.

Singhvi said while the BJP has made hollow promises on corruption, its governments were mired in corruption — Vyapam scam in MP, mining scam in Rajasthan, and rice scam in Chhattisgarh.