A day after his suggested candidate was denied a post-retirement extension, oil minister M Veerappa Moily on Thursday defended seeking extension for Sudhir Vasudeva as chairman of ONGC, saying he was not backing a tainted or corrupt person.
“A non-issue has been made a big issue. Everything has been done in a transparent manner. Nothing has been hidden,” he said in his first comments after government appointed Dinesh K Sarraf as the new head of ONGC, the nation’s most profitable firm.
Sarraf replaces Vasudeva, who turned 60 on Tuesday and is due to superannuate on Friday. Moily said Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had signed on papers appointing Sarraf as new chairman of ONGC on February 25, a day before it was alleged that an attempt was being made to bypass Central Vigilance Commission in getting Vasudeva an extension.
“There is no u-turn … Don’t do dishonour to him … he is not a tainted person and not that we have hushed up things. “He has not been indicted by vigilance department in any case so far and complaints pending are fresh or new ones that came after we proposed his extension,” he said. Moily said a total of 19 cases or complaints were made against Vasudeva, of which the vigilance department has dismissed nine.
“While technically 10 complaints are open, many of them were received recently,” he said suggesting “aggrieved parties” may have raised them.
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