Rahul Gandhi backs Bastia

Vol 13, PW 25 (03 Jun 10) News in Brief

Congress party general secretary Rahul Gandhi (left) is believed to be supporting Reliance’s star geologist Ravi Bastia in his quest to become the next ONGC chairman.

“It was Rahul’s idea to support Bastia,” says a well-placed source. Rumour is rife that Bastia is also backed by influential members of the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, which runs India’s union government.

“10 Janpath (the residence of UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi) wants a geoscientist as ONGC chairman,” says a frequent visitor. He explains this is because ONGC is an exploration company and the UPA wants a private sector candidate to lead it.

Rahul Gandhi, son of Sonia and former Indian PM Rajiv Gandhi, is believed to be closely monitoring the ONGC chairman selection process. Bastia is one of 11 candidates who sent in their CVs for the post by the May 6 deadline.

Current ONGC chairman RS Sharma retires next January.