EC gives clean chit to Murli Deora
After viewing the video footage made on November 25 of Union Petroleum Minister Murli Deora’s statement on the proposed review of petrol and diesel prices after the assembly elections, the Election Commission on Tuesday gave a clean chit dropping all proceedings against him.
The Commission examined the video footage and analysed the explanation given by the Petroleum Minister to it, and came to this conclusion that the Minister had not violated the Model Code of Conduct, said Election Commission (EC) official to the reporters.
Deputy Election Commissioner R. Balakrishnan while talking to reporters told that he [Murli] had only said to review the prices of petrol and diesel, and had not made any announcement to slash the prices, added EC official.
The Commission on November 26 had issued a notice on the complaint of Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) to Petroleum Minister Murli Deora and Petroleum Secretary R S Pandey to clarify their views on ‘Have they not violated the Model Code of Conduct of election allegedly with their prior announcement of slashing prices of petrol and diesel after December 24 when the assembly election in six states would be over?’
Responding to the Commission’s notice, Deora had sent a six page written reply clarifying that he had not violated any ‘Model Code of Conduct’ by prior announcing any policy decision or financial grant, but only answered the question asked to him on the sidelines of Hydrocarbon conference in the capital.
Earlier, on November 25, Murli Deora, on the sidelines of the conference, had said that as the prices of crude oil had fallen down from over $150 per barrel to below $55 per barrel, the government could review the prices of petrol and diesel after December 24, 2008 after concluding of all the assembly elections.
R S Pandey, on the same stage, had added that the ministry would present a detailed picture of the emerging scenario before the cabinet after the ongoing assembly elections to reach any conclusion over the reduction of prices.
BJP, the major opposition party, on November 26 had filed a complaint before the EC against the Petroleum Minister and Petroleum Secretary for allegedly violating the election norms by making such type of announcement before the election that could influence the voters.
The prices of petrol and diesel in India are still at high despite steep fall in the international market, and there is a common demand to reduce the fuel prices by making parity to the international prices.
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