Amar Singh seeks cancellation of Petro Secy’s appointment

Samajwadi Party leader Amar Singh has asked the government to cancel the appointment of R S Pandey as Petroleum Secretary, saying there was a "suspicious" role of Reliance Industries chief Mukesh Ambani in the crucial appointment.

In a letter addressed to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Samajwadi Party's general secretary has said that Pandey's appointment "should be cancelled forthwith." The Prime Minister sent a reply acknowledging the reply.

Noting that appointment reflects "the unholy influence of one of the biggest industrial houses in the appointments of key government officials," the Samajwadi Party MP, in his letter dated July 29, expressed concern on the "unexpected haste and suspicious co-incidental meetings" between RIL Chairman and Pandey before his appointment as Petroleum Secretary.

Singh quoted media reports that said that Ambani met Pandey, just a day before his appointment, in a meeting facilitated by Minister of State for Steel Jatin Prasada. Besides, 24-hours after his appointment, Petroleum Minister Murli Deora himself hosted a tripartite meeting in his house between Pandey and Ambani, Singh said.

The SP leader has also expressed his concern that these meetings send "wrong signals overall reflecting a suspicious nexus leading maybe to even favouritism to select players."