Keep mum on Arvind Kejriwal, Veerappa Moily warns

Written by PTI | New Delhi | Updated: Feb 18 2014, 00:54am hrs
Petroleum Minister M Veerappa Moily, who is in the eye of the storm over gas pricing issue, today hit out at Arvind Kejriwal, saying it is "better in the best interest of the democracy to talk less" of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader.

The senior Congress leader, who was Law Minister when the Joint Committee for drafting the Lokpal Bill was constituted by the government at the peak of Anna Hazare's agitation demanding an effective anti-corruption watchdog, also regretted his decision to invite Arvind Kejriwal to the panel headed by then Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee as it helped the former civil society member "to build himself".

"Better in the best interest of the democracy, talk less of Arvind Kejriwal. It is best for everybody not to waste energy on him. India's energy should not be lost on a person like Kejriwal. That is my firm opinion.

"And I have committed some crime...by inviting him to the Joint Committee on Lokpal (Joint Committee for drafting the Lokpal Bill). It is because of that entry, he took advantage and he was trying to build himself. That is my crime. I committed a mistake. I regret inviting a person like him. He should not have been (invited)," Moily told reporters outside Parliament House.

The Minister was reacting to questions on the just resigned Arvind Kejriwal-headed Aam Aadmi Party Government's decision to file FIR against him, Reliance Industries Limited Chief Mukesh Ambani and retired Director General of Hydrocarbons V K Sibal for their alleged collusion over hike in prices of natural gas from KG basin.

When asked about BJP's opposition to the gas price hike after the Aam Aadmi Party questioned its Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi's silence on the issue, Moily said the main opposition party has not opposed the decision "till now".

"I have not seen it. I just hear from you...They have not till now objected," Moily said.

He, however, said that BJP is now searching for new issues as it is "losing weapon" to fight against Congress party and UPA government.

"They are inventing one story after another," Veerappa Moily added.