BJP alleges politician-oil mafia nexus, seeks CBI inquiry

Friday, January 28, 2011

NEW DELHI - Accusing the ruling Congress-Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) alliance in Maharashtra of protecting oil mafias in the state, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Friday demanded a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into the politician-adulterator nexus in the wake of the murder of Nashik district additional collector Yashwant Sonawane.

The BJP also demanded that kerosene coupons should be issued to the poor to prevent adulteration of diesel.

Party spokesman Prakash Javadekar said here that the gruesome murder of Sonawane was a result of “well-established nexus between the oil mafias and ruling politicians who protect them”.

Accusing Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan of shying away from a CBI enquiry, Javadekar said a police enquiry will not be able to reveal who was protecting the accused Popat Shinde and others.

“A continued adulteration racket cannot sustain without political protection. Last 11 years of the Congress-NCP rule in Maharashtra has protected all types of mafias, may be land or oil,” Javadekar said.

Sonawane, 44, was burnt alive in Panewadi near Manmad in Nashik district Tuesday, when he went to conduct a raid on the local oil mafia for pilferage from kerosene tankers.

Javadekar said an estimated four million tonnes kerosene was diverted every year and was either sold in the black market or mixed easily with diesel.

He said the adulteration business has Rs.25,000 crore annual turnover due to price difference between the public distribution system rates for kerosene and the selling price of diesel.

According to the BJP spokesman, there were thousands of places, particularly closed factories, where tankers often come for mixing kerosene with diesel.

“These facts are known to the administration. But a nexus of oil mafias, corrupt officials, corrupt rulers allow it to continue,” he said.

Javadekar added the subsidy regime in kerosene should be reviewed and kerosene coupons be issued to the poor as this would prevent any scope for adulteration.

Filed under: Politics

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