Bora insists he's leaving on 30th April

Vol 5, PW 4 (11 Apr 01) People & Policy

Outgoing ONGC chairman Bikash Bora is making it clear he will not stay on beyond 30th April, date on which he retires.

On 10thApril Bora told Petrowatch on the sidelines of an energy security conference in Delhi that he would refuse any formal ministry request to extend his tenure. "I do not want to become a contract worker," said Bora.

"I have served 38 years and now I want to retire." What will you do during retirement "Play golf!" Reports are circulating that the ministry wants Bora to stay an extra month, possibly longer. Within ONGC rumours abound that Indian Oil director Subir Raha's appointment as Bora's replacement might be delayed, even cancelled.

Why Because railway minister Mamata Banerjee has quit the ruling alliance to fight elections in West Bengal. Also, intense media scrutiny of Ranjan Bhattacharya, Vajpayee's controversial son-in-law.

Like Raha, Banerjee and Bhattacharya are both Bengalis and were believed to be backing his selection as ONGC chairman. Nonsense, say Rahas backers.

He was selected on merit, theres no reason to scrap his appointment. Apparently Raha also has the firm backing of oil minister Ram Naik.

Today, his 'file' is under scrutiny at the office of India's anti-corruption department, the Central Vigilance Commission, a key but routine stage in the selection process of all senior state sector officials.