Petroleum minister denies nepotism in Baalu’s case

April 29th, 2008 - 7:42 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Manmohan Singh

New Delhi, April 29 (IANS) Union Shipping, Road Transport and Highways Minister T.R. Baalu had not committed a crime by facilitating gas allocation to companies owned by his sons, Baalu’s ministerial colleague and Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Murli Deora told parliament Tuesday. “There is no nepotism here. I do not know what nepotism you are talking about. Every day we get (such) requests from people,” said the Congress minister in the Rajya Sabha.

“If somebody tells me this (Baalu’s action) is a question of about 2,000 people losing their jobs, I will call my people. I will ask them the truth. We are here to help people, not to harass them,” Deora said in response to a question asked by BJP MP Sushma Swaraj.

Swaraj wanted to know when the government would come out with a response on the accusations levelled at Baalu, who had himself admitted in parliament last week that he had sought help from the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) to expedite the gas allocation to firms owned by his sons.

Deora said people in public life keep receiving requests for favours and there was nothing wrong in obliging them.

Earlier in the day, Leader of Opposition L.K. Advani at a meeting of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MPs demanded Baalu’s resignation, and asked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to “come clean” on the issue.

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