Members of the treasury benches and Opposition Congress had a bitter exchange of words during the Question Hour of the Gujarat Assembly when a question on gas exploration and commercial gas production from Krishna-Godavari (KG) basin by Gujarat State Petroleum Corporation (GSPC) was taken up. It, eventually, resulted in Speaker adjourning the Question Hour minutes before it was scheduled to get over.
The starred question was raised by Congress MLA from Viramgam Tejashree Patel. She had sought to know the status of commercial gas production from KG basin and the amount, so far, incurred by the state government on gas exploration there.
The question was taken up following interesting turn of events. As, the Congress seemed keen on having the question discussed in the House during the stipulated one hour of Question Hour. In fact, the previous four questions before Tejashree Patel’s question were asked by four different Congress MLAs. However, all of them remained absent from the House. So, after Question No 6, the controversial question immediately came up for discussion, 15 minutes before conclusion of the Question Hour.
Deputy CM Nitin Patel also made a comment from his seat when Chief Whip of Congress Balwantsinh Rajput was speaking in person with some Congress MLAs before the KG Basin question came up for discussion. Informally addressing Rajput, Nitin Patel said, “Balwantsinh is making lots of efforts.”
Eventually, when the question was announced, Congress MLAs applauded it and one of them even said, “Tit for tat.”
In reply to the question, Nitin Patel informed that so far commercial production of gas from KG Basin has not started. He also said that total Rs 14,738.41 crore were spent for gas exploration till December 2016.
In her subsequent queries, Tejashree Patel repeatedly called the matter a scam which was opposed by the ruling BJP MLAs. Leader of Opposition Shankersinh Vaghela also intervened and said that the ruling party should have the tolerance level to listen to the questions of the Opposition.
Later in his reply to Tejashree Patel’s queries, Nitin Patel said that the MLAs of Congress which did corruption everywhere are talking of scam. This resulted in animated reaction from the Opposition MLAs who even came till the Well of the House.
Speaker then adjourned the Question Hour.