BJP, CPI-M slam government following Moily's remarks

New Delhi, June 14 (IANS) The BJP Friday termed as "shocking disclosure" remarks by Petroleum Minister M.Veerappa Moily that India's energy exploration was being derailed by "threats" from the import lobbies while the CPI-M demanded a reversal of government policies on oil supply.

The Congress, however, said it was for Moily to explain his remarks.

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) spokesperson Nirmala Sitharaman said it was a shocking disclosure by the oil minister and vindicates her party's stance.

She said her party has always accused the United Progressive Alliance government of lacking transparency in decision making.

Sitharaman said Moily was the fourth minister in the UPA government to hold petroleum portfolio while the ministry had been handled by a single minister during the National Democratic Alliance government.

"They are changing ministers... Very clearly, there is no transparency in decision making. There is no policy. What Mr Moily had said vindicates what we have been saying," Sitharaman told IANS.

"Many skeletons have come out of cupboard of UPA," she added.

Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) leader Basudeb Acharia said the government should explain why it had not resisted pressure from oil lobbies.

He said Moily's remark about oil lobbies was "a fact" and India's import of petroleum products had been steadily rising while share of domestic production going down.

"Why government cannot come out of pressure. Why government always surrendered before oil lobby," he asked.

Acharia said the government should emphasise on increasing indigineous production of petroleum products.

"The government's policy should be reversed," he said.

Congress spokesperson Shakeel Ahmed said it was for Moily to explain his remarks.

He said Moily was an honest, straight-forward and a competent minister.

"Who is trying to influence his decision, it is for Mr Moily to explain," Ahmed said.

Moily Friday claimed that India's energy exploration activities were being derailed by "threats" to ministers from the import lobbies, which want the country to remain dependent on oil and gas imports, and "bureaucratic obstructions".

He said every minister who occupies petroleum portfolio faces threats and there was bureaucratic delay, obstructions lobbies that don't want the country to stop imports.

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