Corporate lobby orchestrated Reddy's ouster from Oil Min?

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Jaipal Reddy Press
New Delhi, Oct 29: Did Corporate lobby interfere in the Cabinet reshuffle? The question has been asked by many after S Jaipal Reddy's shift from the Petroleum ministry to relatively obscure Science and Technology ministry. But reports suggested that he was unhappy with the decision of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

Cabinet reshuffle of UPA government on Sunday, Oct 28 has caused a lot of disappointment among Congress top brass.

Sources say that Reddy was removed as Petroleum minister to please Reliance. Several leaders from opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) raised the issue of Reddy's ouster from Petroleum ministry.

"I think from the post that Jaipal Reddy has been given, it is clear that the government is unhappy with the manner in which he worked," said BJP leader Meenakshi Lekhi.

"There were reports in the media that Jaipal was dropped under pressure from industry. The Prime Minister must explain to the people why Jaipal was suddenly removed," BJP leader Venkaiah Naidu added.

India Against Corruption activist Arvind Kejriwal also questioned the move. He tweeted, "Why did Jaipal Reddy lose his job? For resisting Reliance? Oily Moily will now work as per Reliance? So, LPG and power prices set to rise? (sic)". "Jaipal Reddy - known to be honest - kicked out. Salman Khurshid - corrupt - promoted. That's UPA (sic)," he added.

Even Samajwadi Party has slammed the reshuffle. "No senior leaders from UP have been made ministers. In fact, tainted ministers have been elevated. Salman Khurshid has become the External Affairs Ministers and one minister who is named in the coal scam has been promoted," Samajwadi Party leader Ram Gopal Yadav said.

Congress's own General Secretary Digvijaya Singh is also not pleased with the low representation given to his state Madhya Pradesh in the union cabinet. "Sonia Gandhi and the PM must have given these decisions a lot of thought. Yes, we were a little disappointed in Madhya Pradesh but our focus now is to prepare for the general elections," Digvijaya Singh said.

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