Modi chief guest at ONGC office launch party

Vol 20, PW 25 (07 Sep 17) News in Brief

In India politics always beats good sense.

How else to explain ONGC's bizarre decision to hold an expensive inauguration party for its plush new Delhi office almost a year after it began operations? Guest of honour will be none other than prime minister Narendra Modi and the tentative date for this forced event will be either September 23 or 25. "An exact date has yet to be fixed," confirms an ONGC source.

Others at ONGC wonder aloud about the justification of spending taxpayers money on an unecessary party. Especially since all ONGC departments and subsidiaries, including OVL, Mangalore Refineries and even the ONGC Tripura Power Company moved into this Rs1000cr ($166m) office in October 2016 - close to a full year ago.

"The oil ministry must have told ONGC to throw a party," adds a source. When former Congress prime minister Manmohan Singh laid the foundation stone in 2007 the building was named Rajeev Gandhi Urja Bhawan.

Since then it's been renamed the Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyay Urja Bhawan in an obvious effort to please the ruling BJP.