New Delhi: Science and Technology Minister S. Jaipal Reddy on Monday vented his displeasure at being shifted out of the petroleum and natural gas ministry, allegedly under corporate pressure.

"I handled the oil ministry and anybody who holds this portfolio will be totally frustrated," Reddy said while speaking at the International Bioenergy Summit, his first public event after the cabinet reshuffle last month.  Virtually cautioning M. Veerappa Moily, his successor, Reddy said anybody who holds the oil portfolio will be totally frustrated as no one knows why oil prices increase when there is no disconnect between supply and demand.

"India imports 75 percent of the oil and not even god can explain why and who is increasing oil prices when there is no disconnect between demand and supply. This is a mystery," he said. The opposition parties have criticised Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for taking Reddy out of the petroleum ministry, saying this has been done to protect corporate interest.

Others like anti-corruption activist Arvind Kejriwal are more vocal, saying that an honest minister like Reddy lost his job for resisting Reliance Industries. Reddy, however, had said earlier that the prime minister took him into confidence before changing his portfolio.


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