Jana hits back at charge he misused IGL money

Vol 25, PW 4 (27 Jan 22) People & Policy

Indraprastha Gas (IGL) managing director AK Jana has hit back at allegations he used IGL company money to promote his wife's career.

"Their target is not my wife but me," says Jana. "Through my wife, they want to attack me."

Speaking to this report, Jana responded to charges that IGL part-sponsored a two-day film festival in Hyderabad on November 27 and 28 (2020), where his wife Aradhana Jana was a jury member. "She was selected as a member of the jury much before the organisers approached IGL and other companies for sponsorship," adds Jana.

"Many people approach us for sponsorship; because these sponsorships involve small amounts, we agree without going into much detail." Jana clarifies that it was not actually 'sponsorship' but an 'advertisement' and concedes that IGL willingly offered Rs50,000 ($670) to the Aayna-Telangana Bengali Film Festival organisers in Hyderabad for IGL's logo to be placed on promotional hoarding.

"With CGD-XI coming, we wanted to make people aware of the IGL brand in southern and eastern India," continues Jana. "We did not have any malafide intention; we wanted to make people aware of the IGL brand; we had chalked out plans for southern and eastern India."

Only later, says Jana, did the film festival organisers realise that one of its jury members, Aradhana Jana, was the IGL managing director's wife and that this could lead to a conflict of interest charge against her husband. As such, adds Jana, the film festival organisers unilaterally decided not to send IGL an invoice for the Rs50,000.

"They even sent across a message to this effect and closed the matter," says Jana, who believes vested interests denied CNG station licences by IGL are behind the moves to embarrass him. "Three parties are making unreasonable demands on me as IGL managing director," Jana tells us.

"They want me to accept their unreasonable demands about the allocation of CNG stations in violation of IGL company rules and regulations." Without naming names, Jana added: "Before I took over, IGL was run by consultants, contractors and vendors, but I successfully broke this cartel."