Cong MP alleges oil firm tried to bribe him

Cong MP alleges oil firm tried to bribe him

New Delhi: A Congress member on Tuesday alleged in the Lok Sabha that officials of a major private oil company had tried to bribe him and then threatened him with dire consequences for leading a farmers’ protest against their project in Gujarat.

“The corporate mafia reached my home and tried to bribe me. They later threatened me with dire consequences in the presence of the district collector and superintendent of police", Vikrambhai Arjanbhai Maadam, who represents Jamnagar, said during Zero Hour.

Naming Cairns India Limited, a leading player in the Indian oil and gas industry, he claimed that its officials had offered him a “Rs2 crore bribe and warned me on several occasions. The police says there is no case and I have no protection."

Maadam said he had been leading farmers’ protests in the area for several months as there have been “severe discrepancies" in the compensation being paid to them for giving away their land for the pipeline project.

Demanding dismissal of officials allegedly involved in threatening him, he asserted that the protesting farmers would not allow “anyone to trespass on their land till proper compensation is paid to them."

Maadam was supported by several members from Congress, RJD and SP who sought protection for him and an enquiry into the charges.

Speaker Meira Kumar said the matter was under her consideration and she would pay attention to his fear of insecurity.

Meanwhile, Manu Kapoor , director of corporate affairs at Cairn India in an emailed statement said, “The Mangala Development Pipeline Project is the longest continuously heated and insulated pipeline in the world and is a project of national importance. The pipeline has been constructed and laid in accordance with the notified regulations under the Petroleum and Minerals Pipeline Act, 1962 and international best practices".

“The acquisition of the Right of Use (RoU) has been performed by a Competent Authority appointed by the government. Cairn India has paid the compensation in full to the landowners, as decided by the Competent Authority in accordance with governing law. The installation and RoU reinstatements have been subject to regular review by auditors appointed by international financing agencies and the findings demonstrate that Cairn India adheres to best corporate governance practices. Post reinstatement of RoU, agricultural activities have restarted and are continuing as earlier", the statement added.

“Cairn India follows a strict Code of Business Ethics which is rigorously adhered to throughout the business and is applicable to all of its staff and contractors. The business policies are based on industry best practices and are in line with the corporate governance requirements under the listing agreements with the Indian stock exchanges. Our employees are our assets and they follow company policies in a diligent manner. Cairn demands and maintains the highest ethical standards in carrying out its business activities", it added.

“The excellent support received by the company along the operational part of the pipeline (590 km), which is more than 80% of the total pipeline length, demonstrates the high standards of business ethics followed by the company in all its dealings with various stakeholders".

“The last segment of 80 km, which is now under construction, has suffered extended delays. The allegations levelled by Vikrambhai Madaam are completely false and are vehemently denied by Cairn India. The Company reserves its rights to seek legal remedies against an attempt to malign the reputation of the company and its employees. Appropriate action has been taken to convey this to the concerned authorities," it said.