BJD sees red over collection of petrol pump employees’ data

Bhubaneswar: Controversy seems to be intensifying after the Union Petroleum Ministry sought personal details like caste, religion and constituency from 10 lakh employees at petrol pumps across the country with the ruling BJD in Odisha terming the Centre’s move politically-motivated ahead of the 2019 general elections.

BJD Spokesperson Sasmit Patra said that politics could be one of the prime reasons behind the move as elections are round the corner.

“Since data like details of constituency and religion are being sought, it is a sensitive issue and there could be other motives,” said Patra.

However, the BJP clarified that the move is entirely an exercise for obtaining information for the sake of skill development status of the people employed in the sector.

The Union Petroleum Ministry has already clarified that the analysis of the data is only for skill development of the employees and if the political parties make a mountain out of a molehill then it is very saddening, said Odisha BJP General Secretary, Bhrigu Baxipatra.

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“Congress meanwhile has said that it is the right of the government to have all kinds of information of the public. If the move is meant for what is being stated then it’s okay but if the government is doing it for elections, then they should be questioned,” Odisha Congress chief, Niranjan Patnaik said.

On June 6 this year, three public sector oil companies – HPCL, IOCL and BPCL – sought details like caste, religion and constituency of nearly 10 lakh employees working at 59,000 petroleum dealerships across India citing that it is required for the Recognition of Prior Learning scheme under the Prime Minister’s Skill Development Programme.