Why was senior Congress leader Jaipal Reddy moved out of the Petroleum Ministry?
Was Verappa Moily, the Congress high command’s uber-loyalist, made Petroleum Minster because Jaipal Reddy locked horns with Mukesh Ambani over KG Basin Gas dispute?
Was Jaipal Reddy demoted due to Telangana politics?
All these questions are now up for debate after Sunday’s Cabinet expansion. Jaipal Reddy’s tenure as the Petroleum Minister was undoubtedly controversial. But it was controversial not for any scams or taints but because Mukesh Ambani was unhappy with Jaipal.
Jaipal Reddy tried hard to reduce the influence of Mukesh Ambani on the Ministry. He not only did not agree to the assessment of 1.46 Billion dollar investment in the KG Basin but also refused to go with the price increase as requested.
However this does not seem to be the only reason Jaipal Reddy lost a crucial portfolio and was relegated to a relatively unimportant ministry.
Jaipal Reddy is believed to have been a silent but crucial player in the Telangana Congress politics at the Center. Whether it was his frequent meetings with voiceferious Telangana MPs or bring the Telangana Ministers to lobby in Delhi, Jaipal was at the center of the Delhi Telangana agitation.
He had also earlier offered to go to the state as the Chief Minister if Telangana was promised. It is now believed that he tried to influence the High Command to follow up on this action and attempted to force this decision through. In the process, he is said to have incurred the wrath of the Congress High Command.