Modi should come clean on GSPC matter, demands Congress

New Delhi: The Congress on Thursday asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to come clean on the Gujarat State Petroleum Corporation (GSPC) scandal in which, it alleged, the exchequer and a few banks lost around Rs 20,000 crore.

“On August 4 this year, after flushing Rs 20,000 down the drain, the Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC), a ‘Navratna’ public sector undertaking, has been made to buy 80 per cent shares of GSPL for Rs 7,738 crore,” Congress spokesman Ajoy Kumar said here.

“The question is as to why the ONGC bought these shares although no gas has been found in GSPL’s KG Basin block since 2005? Is a company that has suffered huge losses is being hitched onto a PSU?” he asked.

Ajoy Kumar also noted that the GSPC had 64 gas blocks, of which it surrendered 45 blocks, allegedly incurring losses of Rs 2,992.72 crore.

He also alleged that the GSPC, without any tenders, made two private companies its joint venture partner. Also, in several other oil and gas blocks, the GSPL forged a joint venture with a private entity called Gujarat Natural Resources Ltd (GNRL), which is owned by former state Petroleum Minister Saurabh Patel and his family, and whose name “also crops up in the Panama papers”.

“Incidentally, almost all the officers associated with GSPL in the past are now working at top positions in the Union government. Urjit Patel, who was an Independent Director and Chairman of the Audit Committee of GSPL during the period when all this was happening, has been appointed the RBI Governor,” he added.

“We ask whether or not there should be an independent probe into the entire GSPC matter and also the role of Narendra Modi. Will the Prime Minister give a reply to the public of Gujarat and the nation?” asked the spokesman