Pradhan loses his cool during online IGL review

Vol 23, PW 19 (30 Jul 20) People & Policy

For anyone watching, it was pure entertainment.

But for GAIL chairman Manoj Jain and AK Jana, the new MD of Delhi-based gas retailer Indraprastha Gas, it was nothing short of a public dressing-down meted out by oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan. On July 21, Pradhan lashed out at both men during an hour-long online review meeting of IGL, one of many with CGD operators held by Pradhan since June.

"As the meeting began," we hear, "Pradhan verbally assaulted both Jain and Jana." Pradhan directed his anger at IGL's figure of 900,000 (9 lakhs) homes receiving gas-on-tap in Delhi and surrounding areas.

"Everyone is giving me this figure of 9 lakhs," shouted Pradhan, reportedly. "Even when Ranganathan was (IGL) managing director, it was nine lakhs and now after Jana has taken over the figure is still nine lakhs."

Speaking in ferocious Hindi, Pradhan targeted the IGL chief. "Don't think you have done something spectacular.

I know you have joined just one month back. I am not saying IGL has not done anything good, but what is this figure of nine lakhs connections? Give me some new figure.

Tell me something new!" he added. Pradhan became so irritated he stopped the presentation.

"What is this presentation?" he howled. "Do you think I have spare time to kill like this or do you think the oil secretary and other officials have time on their hands to waste like this?"