Shiv Sena MP forcing me to give contract to his favoured firm: PSU chief

The chairman and managing director of a maharatna and a Member of Parliament have levelled charges of corruption against each other which have now reached the highest levels of the government.

Less than a month after he was accused of misappropriating funds by a Shiv Sena MP, Chairman and Managing Director of maharatna Bharat Petroleum has hit back, complaining to the Central Vigilance Commission and Petroleum Minister Veerappa Moily that the MP was armtwisting him to award a contract worth over Rs 100 crore to a company of the MP's choice.

This relates to the supply of 5.5 lakh tonnes of low-sulphur coal to BPCL's joint venture Bharat Oman Refinery Limited (BORL) in Bina, Madhya Pradesh.

The company in question is Hyderabad-based MBG Commodities Private Ltd, the third lowest bidder.

On August 6, BPCL CMD R K Singh wrote to Moily that Shiv Sena Deputy Leader in the Lok Sabha Chandrakant Khaire called him at his residence a day earlier "asking me...not to award the contract to L1 party".

In the letter, a copy of which is with The Indian Express, Singh claims that Khaire asked him to award the contract to MBG Commodities.

Incidentally, Singh says that on August 5 itself, the contract, as per norms, was awarded to Gandhar Coal and Mines, the L1 party.

In his letter, Singh mentions that Khaire had written letters to the Prime Minister's Office on July 19 and to Department of Personnel & Training and the CVC leveling "personal charges" against Singh. Khaire had alleged in these letters that Singh had instructed BORL to buy coal from Gandhar and "that in the process...had misappropriated large amount of funds."

Khaire is also said to have showed Singh a letter he had drafted to Director, CBI, alleging that Singh had misappropriated money.

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