The sting operation not only revealed that the ministers were willing to write a recommendation letter, but also lobby with the Union Ministry of Petroleum to help the foreign firm secure oil exploration rights in the Northeast.
The Ministers involved were Lalu Bhai Patel, Ravindra Kumar Pandey and Hari Manjhi from BJP; Vishwa Mohan Kumar, Maheshwar Hazari and Bhudeo Chaudhary from JD(U), K Sugumar and C Rajendran from AIADMK, Khiladi Lal Bairwa and Vikrambhai Arjanbhai from Congress and Kaiser Jahan from BSP. Six MPs issued letters of recommendation to Cobrapost, but none of them received any money from the team. In fact, Rajasthan's K Lal Bairwa allegedly demanded Rs 50 lakh for arrranging recommendations from three MPs.
Cobrapost editor Aniruddha Bahal said that MPs did not even bother to check the genuinty of the company, named as Mediterranean Oil Inc. of Queensland, Australia. He further claims that he was tipped off about these ministers before he started investigating.
On contacting, Hazari denied receiving any money or giving any letter.