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RIL and its association with controversies
In his latest expose yesterday anti-corruption activist turned politician Arvind Kejriwal said that Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) chief Mukesh Ambani has got undue favors from not only Congress but from BJP also. Kejriwal also claimed that the country is run by Mukesh Ambani, not by the Congress and BJP. He said that there is a nexus between politicians and corporates.

THE CHARGES made by Kejriwal caught everyone's attention as after the latest cabinet reshuffle in which Jaipal Reddy's portfolio has been changed to science and technology from petroleum, Kejriwal had claimed that Reddy had been replaced under pressure from none other than Mukesh Ambani.

Kejriwal said that Reddy had opposed several demands of RIL, including that of increasing the price of natural gas from KGD6 basin from $4.20 per unit to $14.2 per unit. Kejriwal also accused Ambani for hoarding the gas being produced from KG-D6 basin and linked it to the high cost of power and other goods, which in turn added to the inflation.

Kejriwal alleged Prime Minister Manmohan Singh of being sympathetic towards RIL as he sought the opinion of the attorney general on the issue of hiking gas price from KG D6 basin, even after Reddy denied to raise the prices. Kejriwal also termed the action of RIL to sell 30% of its stake in KG D6 basin to British Petroleum as illegal.

Refuting the charges made my Kejriwal, Reliance Industries Limited in a press statement said that the charges are devoid of any truth or substance whatsoever and are denied. The company in its defence said that the deep water exploration project in the KG-D6 basin has deployed the best technical resources, and has been recognized by the oil and gas industry as one of the very best in its class. Terming the allegations made by Kejriwal as irresponsible, RIL said that India Against Corruption has some vested interests behind it.

This is not the first time RIL has been embroiled in a controversy. The company in the past also had made headlines for negative reasons. As reported by Live Mint (e-edition of Mint), in 2003, a magazine called Seminar reported about the proximity of Late Dhirubhai Ambani with the politicians and his enmity with Bombay Dying chief Nusli Wadia. Journalist turned politician Arun Shourie had also reported about illegal imports by the RIL and overseas share transactions by shell companies, and the botched attempt to acquire Larsen & Toubro. According to Mint, Outlook magazine in 1996 had reported about other controversies related to fake and switched shares; insider trading; and a nexus with the state-owned Unit Trust of India.

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