MUMBAI — Petroleum consortium has alleged that dealers operating petrol pumps are receiving threats of blocked supplies if they did not display Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s picture at retail outlets ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
State-owned oil marketing companies (OMCs) like Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL), Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL) and Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL) have allegedly asked the dealers to arrange the display carrying PM Modi’s picture and details of his government’s LPG connection scheme.
“They are asking us to display the picture of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in retail outlets and those who refuse are threatened with blocking of supplies,,” S.S. Gogi, president, Consortium of Indian Petroleum Dealers (CIPD) told The Hindu.
According to the dealers, the instruction is being conveyed by area officers of the OMCs, who visit the retail outlets.
In June this year, the petroleum consortium CIPD was asked to share personal data of its employees with the oil companies, and many of them alleged that the government was profiling them on caste and religious lines. The consortium had refused to follow the instruction.
“They are asking for sensitive personal information like caste, religion and constituency of the employees. Such data collection by the government is a breach of privacy. We are going to court,” said Gogi.
According to the report in The Hindu, the questions in the form sought biographical details, marital status, mobile number, name of father/guardian, Aadhaar number, religion, caste, contact number, email address, number of years of experience and education level, besides bank information.
The petroleum consortium wrote a letter of protest to OMCs describing the initiative as a violation of fundamental rights. The Petrol Pump Dealers Association of Punjab has issued a legal notice to senior executives of IOCL, HPCL and BPCL on the issue.