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GIFT for Vote: ASTO Working President at ONGC Vadodara May Answer!

New Delhi:  12, December-2023. A serious allegation has been made against the ASTO (Association of Scientific and Technical Officers) Working President at Vadodara for allegedly using his official position to gratify ONGC (Oil & Natural Gas Corporation) voters by doling out expansive gifts. 

The officer, who had been posted in the Corporate Communications Department during the time (2020-21/2021-22/2022-2023), had allegedly  distributed expansive digital gadgets, purchased as souvenirs for supposedly visiting dignitaries, to the members and prospective voters of ASTO. 

And this generosity on the part of the officer, who hails originally from the INFOCOM department and in the rank of Manager, won him the hearts of the voters and subsequently the post of Working President, a senior officer in Vadodara has alleged while requesting anonymity. 

The ASTO elections had been held in October this year, following years of unsavoury, if not illegal stalemate. On October 24, the results were declared in which five working presidents including Mr. Akhilesh Kumar, the Manager Infocom-CC from Vadodara had been elected which raised many eyebrows. 

An investigation into the matter had come up with some startling revelations. The Corporate Communications Department, which was then headed by one GM-I/C CC Mr. S.K. Joshi, bought ‘Souvenirs for visiting dignitaries. Digital Smart Diary with power bank with supportable with all kinds of phones, 32 GB Pen Drive, replaceable pages, a roller pen with ONGC branding’.

Buying such innocuous items is not very uncommon. But what makes matters extremely shocking is that the same note-word by word, letter by letter, had been generated for three consecutive financial years starting from 2020. All the orders were sanctioned by the GM-I/C CC, who was forced to go on transfer out of Delhi in December 2019. 

“How can this happen if somebody is not opting for the easiest way to oblige or gratify people for something bigger in exchange?” asks one senior officer with a clear-cut pointer that most of the local and, in some cases, other regions’ ASTO officials have been given these expansive gifts, each had cost Rs 3450. An RTI query had made shocking revelations, which has been pasted as an image here for everyone to peruse and try to get on to the crux of the allegation. 

The two officers in question have been allegedly complemented each other very seamlessly. “When, one had the ambition for the important ASTO portfolio, the other, who was the In-Charge of the Department was desperate to come back to Delhi. Allegations are rife that Mr. S.K. Joshi, GM-In/Charge CC Vadodara was hardly present in his office during his less than three-year tenure and preferred to stay in Delhi with various excuses. Hence, it was very necessary that a quid-pro-quo had to be made with the junior person so that neither’s applecart was upset, sources alleged.

And both have reportedly succeeded in their mission. When the Junior person has catapulted to the coveted position of ASTO Working President, the senior person allegedly got his transfer order signed by the erstwhile former officiating CMD in her last few days in the office. He joined in his new place of posting in ONGC Videsh ( a U-Turn which is unusual) in March 2023, even before the new Chairman Mr. Arun Kumar Singh could comprehend the ONGC’s policy for Incomers to the Delhi Office.

Mr Arun Kumar Singh had, in various occasions, expressed his annoyance and great concerns over some people’s overtures, including bringing external pressures, to latch on to the Delhi offices of ONGC and ONGC Videsh. 

In the last elections for the term 2023-2025, Out of 513 votes were cast by the ASTO members in Western Onshore Basin, Vadodara, of which Mr. Akhilesh Kumar got 263 votes while his nearest candidate Mr. Punit got 227 votes. 

And how does it matter for such a reward even if the duo had proved to be incomprehensibly incompetent in the jobs, alleged an officer saying that they brought great shame to the company when printed CC banners and posters on January 26 this year with a wrong National flag. 

The officer, NewsIP had spoken to, exclaimed that creating and distributing a wrong National Flag is a punishable crime that these officers have committed. And that too, in the place wherefrom Hon’ble Prime Minister used won elections. “If a Government office does this kind of irreparable mistake with the temple of constitution, how can we protect our national identity?” he asks ongc_flag opposite

At a time, when the entire country is expecting for a revitalized performance from the country’s largest public sector company ONGC, these kinds of serious aberrations and corruptions are spearheaded by a few officers playing with public money to further their own personal ambitions and agenda, alleged another senior official. 

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