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A BJP MP from Bihar took a dig at the Modi government in Lok Sabha on Monday hinting that government was under pressure from corporate houses, particularly in the oil and natural gas sector.
Asking government to spell out its stand, he said “in the case of reliance, earlier governments and to a certain extent this government do not have stable policies…. We want to know the government’s compulsions,” the octogenarian Begusarai MP said. He said the government should deal with the issues concerning these corporates with firmness and if not it should clarify the position and asked if the Directorate General of Hydrocarbons (DGH) had approached for resolving oil field disputes with contractors.
Singh’s questions drew an immediate response from petroleum and natural gas minister Dharmendra Pradhan who denied that the NDA government was succumbing to any pressure.
“We have no compulsions, I want to make it clear. Please remember the country’s prime minister is Narendra Modi,” he said.
To this Singh responded saying “I know the country’s prime minister is Narendra Modi. But I have faith in you also. Aaap toh Dharmendra hain, pradhan bhi hain (You are Dharmendra– namesake of well-known yesteryears Bollywood hero– and your name also means chief)”. This evoked laughter in the House.
Pradhan, however, took the opportunity to target the Congress-led UPA government. “I better not go into details at this juncture,” Pradhan said, sparking off protests from Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge.
“The government has enhanced the powers of DGH for hiring of counsels for defending arbitrations,” he said.
This is not the first time that Singh has taken on the central government. After the Bihar debacle, he had castigated the strategy of the party’s central leadership. He has asked 150 questions in the House against a national average of 125