NC Pandey under fire as BJP worker takes aim

Vol 21, PW 16 (17 May 18) People & Policy

When executive director NC Pandey returns from his US holiday on May 21 he can expect a firestorm of criticism from those angry at his selection as ONGC's next director technology and field services.

Among the more laughable claims is that Pandey once worked against his own company and that he has links with 'anti-national' protestors and NGOs linked to India's renegade Naxalite movement. Rajesh Kanna, who belongs to a 12-member ruling BJP co-operative cell in Tamil Nadu, cites these accusations in a letter sent to the PMO on April 25, just a day after Pandey's selection.

From Thiruthuraipoondi in Tamil Nadu, Kanna writes that local BJP workers believe Pandey once assisted protesters who disrupted work at ONGC's oil and gasfields in the Cauvery basin. Villagers in Tamil Nadu have been accusing ONGC since May 2017 of contaminating ground water supplies and spoiling their land during attempts to explore for CBM or shale gas.

In his letter, seen by this report, Kanna goes on to claim that other more qualified and senior ONGC candidates were denied an interview. In stilted English, Kanna writes: "It looks that either the candidates are overlooked or lack appropriate scrutiny."

Pulling no punches, Kanna asks Narendra Modi to investigate the entire interview process. His letter is copied to Jitendra Singh, minister of state in the PMO, home minister Rajnath Singh and oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan.

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