Saturday, August 10, 2002, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

BJP names more Cong men
Tribune News Service and Agencies

New Delhi, August 9
The BJP today released the lists of petrol stations and gas agencies allotted to Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh Congress leaders and their relatives and demanded legislation to cancel these.

BJP Parliamentary Party spokesman Vijay Kumar Malhotra alleged that as many as 18,000 petrol pumps had been allotted to various Congress leaders before 2000. While the Vajpayee government had already cancelled the allotments made after January 2000, the Congress should “have the guts to come out to help the Centre to enact a law to cancel allotments made before 2000 during their regime,” he said.

The list of Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh, containing 23 names, includes former state Chief Minister and now Pradesh Congress Committee President Bhajan Lal who has a petrol pump called Adampur Service Station in Hisar.

Punjab Finance Minister Lal Singh, Haryana CLP chief Bhupendra Singh Hooda, Lok Sabha MP Santosh Choudhary, Indian Youth Congress president Randeep Surjewala, former PPCC President Virender Kataria, former Karnal Lok Sabha member Chiranji Lal Sharma, former Indian Youth Congress Presidents M S Bitta and Manish Tiwari, Jalandhar Lok Sabha MP Balveer Singh are some of the names who figure in the list.

Other lists, released by the BJP, include 83 names in Maharashtra, 57 names in Madhya Pradesh and 29 names in Chhattisgarh.

The names of prominent Congress leaders, who in their own names or in the names of the relatives, had been allotted petrol stations in Maharashtra included the son of former Lok Sabha Speaker Shivraj Patil, the daughter of Mr Shankarrao Chavan, Mr Suresh Kalmadi, Maharashtra Mahila Congress president Rajni Patel, Mr Anil Deshmukh and Mr Shivaji Rao Moghe, ministers in the Maharashtra Cabinet, Mr Uttam Rao Patil, MP, and Mr Shravan Parate and Mr Ramesh Bang, MLAs from Maharashtra.

On the Chhattisgarh list, those who figure include Lok Sabha MP Shyama Charan Shukla, AICC Treasurer Moti Lal Vora and several ministers of Chief Minister Ajit Jogi’s Cabinet.

The Madhya Pradesh list has state Chief Minister Digvijay Singh’s brother Lakshman Singh, who himself is a Lok Sabha MP and whose personal assistant Shyam Govind Prajapati has been a beneficiary. Deputy Chief Minister Subhash Yadav’s son has a petrol station in his name in Khalghat district.

Going one step ahead of its earlier challenge to the BJP-led NDA government to institute an inquiry into the allotment of petrol stations and gas agencies since 1983, the Congress today said it was prepared to face a probe into irregularities, if any, committed since 1947.

Meanwhile, the Rajasthan and Guwahati High Courts today issued notices to the Centre on its order to cancel allotment of petrol stations and gas agencies even as oil companies completed filing over 3,700 caveats in the Supreme Court and various High Courts to prevent ex-parte decisions.

A total of 3718 petrol stations, gas agencies and kerosene dealerships, and not 3,158 allotments as announced earlier, will be cancelled as the fallout of the August 5 government order, for which oil companies are likely to issue termination notices from early next week.

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