Kiran steps on Telangana gas as Jaipal slows down
By EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE - HYDERABAD
Published: 12th Aug 2012 09:45:22 AM
As if there are not enough troubles for the Congress party in Andhra Pradesh, a new row has erupted between Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy and Union Petroleum Minister S Jaipal Reddy.
Kiran Kumar scored over Jaipal last week in restoring the allocation of 2 Million Metric Standard Cubic Meter Per Day (MMSCMD) gas. The 2 MMSCMD gas from D-6 in Reliance gas plant in Andhra Pradesh was diverted to Ratnagiri power plant in Maharashtra. This was because Ratnagiri plant was given an equal status of a fertiliser plant. Jaipal, who represents the Chevella constituency of Andhra Pradesh, had failed to prevail upon the Centre to restore the gas supply to the state power plants. Kiran Kumar rushed to Delhi and called on Prime Minister. Gas was immediately restored.
The Congress is already facing defection trouble from its ministers and MLAs to the Jagan Mohan Reddy camp. Besides various ministers and senior leaders are being jailed for various scams. The feud between Kiran Kumar and state Congress chief Botcha Satyanarayana continues unabated. Meanwhile, the Telangana MPs in the party are in a state of unrest, protesting in parliament and drawing Sonia Gandhi’s ire. The gas row is the latest in a series of problems besetting the government in the poll-bound state.
Even after the gas was restored—though the petroleum ministry said that it has nothing to do with gas allocation—Kiran Kumar took his niggling contest with Jaipal to the next level. This time, he broadly hinted that Jaipal, as the holder of the petroleum and natural gas portfolio at the Centre, ought to be doing more to secure gas for two power projects coming up in Telangana.
Playing the Telangana card at the expense of his own party seems to be Kiran Kumar’s last resort. Touring Khammam for his Indiramma Baata programme, the CM told a Telangana audience that his government has been lobbying the Centre for months to allocate gas for two power projects coming up at Nedunur in Karimnagar district and Shankarapalli in Rangareddy district.
Stopping short of accusing Jaipal of being a spectator to this pursuit of the state interest, the CM said, “I have written to the Centre several times. Jaipal Reddy, who is an MP from Telangana and holds charge of petroleum and natural gas, should show interest.”
This nudge-nudge to the Union minister was contained in a straight-faced but invective-laced press release from the CM’s office, which subtly referenced Jaipal’s claim to be a leader of Telangana.
The CM, according to it, said, “Jaipal Reddy is the Union minister of petroleum and natural gas from Telangana region. It would be in the fitness of things had he taken the initiative and had the gas been allocated.”
Construction of the two projects has been handicapped by the lack of gas allocation to them, Kiran Kumar said and added that he himself has been fervent in lobbying Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and other Union ministers.
Apart from the PM’s office, Kiran Kumar said he wrote to Jaipal Reddy himself on July 7, requesting allocation of 9.72 MMSCMD of gas to the Nedunur project and 4.62 MMSCMD to the Shankarapalli power project.
- Sunday Standard