Skip to main content

How Modi behaved 'adversely' towards Gujarat PSU turnaround man

GSFC, Vadodara
By Our Representative
Despite triggering a major turnaround of the top state public sector undertaking, Gujarat State Fertilizers and Chemicals (GSFC), during his stint as GSFC managing-director during 2003-06, ex-IAS bureaucrat Alexander K Luke was given “adverse remarks” in his Annual Confidential Report (ACR), which was written by his minister, Saurabh Patel (energy and petrochemicals), and approved by chief minister Narendra Modi for two years, 2004-05 and 2005-06, when he was with GSFC.
Revealing this in his latest book, “Passports of Gujarat: Hazardous Journeys”, Luke says that the reason for the two adverse CSRs he was given was “lack of respect for the elected representatives of the people and refusal to follow government instructions.”
Giving a glimpse of the turnaround to which he was instrumental, Luke says, the GSFC’s three years’ loss up to 2003 was Rs 680 crore. After he joined in, in 2003-04 the PSU made a profit of Rs 42 crore, followed by Rs 252 crore in 2004-05, and Rs 437 crore in 2005-2006.
The share price of GSFC was Rs 14 in April 2003, which went up to Rs 251 in May 2006 (14 times), as against the peers like Tata Chemicals, whose share price increased from Rs 68 to Rs 275 (four times), Coromandel from Rs 62 to Rs 114 (two times), and of RCF, a Central Government PSU, from Rs 22 to Rs 72, (three times).
Interestingly, in June 2006, during Modi’s visit to the GSFC to inaugurate a new plant, Luke suggests, things had already become abundantly clear” The chief minister described the turnaround he had triggered as “a third model”, without once mentioning him, “except light-heartedly” asking him to “pay back to the state government the financial help given to the PSU.”
Luke comments, listening to Modi, “one would have concluded the turnaround was an act of God or the result of the lavish financial help, close monitoring and guidance from the state government”.
Worse, during the function, the chief minister did not like Luke being presenting an identical memento which was given to Modi by the GSFC union leader for the turnaround. Even before the union leader could hand it over to him, he saw the chief minister angrily get up and leave the stage.
“It was curious behaviour from a leader who has himself been the recipient of such adulation from the public, adulation which he has done nothing to restrain. This was sometime in June 2006, four months before my departure”, comments Luke.
The adverse ACRs, which triggered Luke’s resignation from the IAS in November 2006, two years ahead of his retirement, came, suspects the author, because of several incidents of “petty in nature”.
While its beginning could be traced to Luke’s letter to his IAS colleagues during the 2002 riots to condemn the “bloodbath”, Luke says, the immediate reasons were his disagreement to certain “suggestions” of the chief minister.
Thus, Modi wanted the GSFC to give Rs 10 crore to the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund and the transfer of an officer who was related to the minister for urban development – both of which Luke rejected.
Giving an account of his resignation, Luke says, he was hurriedly asked to leave GSFC on November 10, even though he was scheduled to hand charge on November 11, with clear indications that if did not do so then disciplinary action would be taken against him.
Pointing to how farcical things bcame, Luke says, on reaching the state capital, Gandhinagar, he was asked to meet the chief minister on November 13.
“When I met him, he said had not expected me to actually be leaving and was surprised at it. He said I ought to stay in Gujarat for the next 5 to 7 years”, Luke says.
Modi even went to the extent of asking him “not to give him an answer right then but to think it over for three days after which we could meet again”.
Yet, Modi signed the resignation file “the same evening, perhaps soon after I left his room.”
And, November 20, early morning, Luke and his wife “drove to the airport and an hour later saw Vadodara receding below.”

Comments

TRENDING

Missed call drive for VVPAT verification follows online plea to "pressure" poll panel

By Our Representative
Several political activists have begun a new campaign, asking concerned citizens to give a missed call on 9667655855 to “support the demand that 2019 Loksabha elections must be declared only after verification of 50% electronic voting machines (EVMs) with Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) receipts.” The effort, supported by civil society networks across India, is meant to "further pressure" India's election machinery to ensure that the poll outcome becomes more transparent.

Did Modi own, buy digital camera costing Rs 7 lakh in 1987-88, also used email?

Counterview Desk
In an interview to the news channel News Nation, aired on Saturday last, Prime Minister Narendra Modi declaring that he had approved the air strike despite bad weather because he felt the clouds would hide Indian planes from Pakistani radar is known to have become a laughing stock across India.

World Bank clarifies: Its 26th rank to India not for universal access to power but for ease of doing business

By Our Representative
In a major embarrassment to the Government of India, the World Bank has reportedly clarified that it has not ranked India 26th out of 130 countries for providing power to its population. The top international banker’s clarification comes following Union Power Minister Piyush Goyal’s claim that India has “improved to 26 position from 99” in access to electricity in just one year.

When a neo-nationalist "invaded" hijab clad ladies, Bengali looking scholar in Delhi metro

By Aditi Kundu*
Travelling in Delhi metro on a daily basis to commute from Mayur Vihar to Dwarka, I see diverse people everyday. One can hear them talk about different aspects of life, from kitchen pilitics to national politics. On the morning of May 13, I witnessed a strange incident; disturbing and amusing at the same time.

Terror attacks: Difference in public reactions in India, those in Colombo, Christchurch

By Battini Rao*
Recently, on April 20 during Easter Sunday, more than 250 people were killed in a series of coordinated terrorist attacks in churches and hotels in Colombo, Sri Lanka. Local Islamic organisations Thawheed Jamath (NJT) and Jamathei Milathu Ibrahim (JMI) are held responsible for the attack. Islamic State has also claimed responsibility.

Women lost 88 lakh jobs in 2018: Why Modi "failed" to address their disempowerment?

Counterview Desk
Five human rights leaders Anjali Bhardwaj, Shabnam Hashmi, Purnima Gupta, Dipta Bhog, and Amrita Johri of the Women March for Change have posed 56 questions (alluding to Modi’s claim of 56 inches chest) to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP against the backdrop of his interview with a Bollywood star, which was allegedly masqueraded as a “non-political” conversation.

PepsiCo warned: Withdraw cases against Gujarat farmers or face dire consequences

By Our Representative
About 200 farmers’ leaders and activists, in a letter to Dr KV Prabhu, chairperson, Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers’ Rights Authority (PPVFRA), and Dr R C Agrawal, registrar general, PPVFRA, Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, Government of India, have demanded that PepsiCo immediately withdraw all the legal suits it has slapped on many potato farmers in different districts of Gujarat.

During Emergency, the ruler was extolled but Opposition wasn't punched around: Scribe

By Rajiv Shah
A just-released book, “India: The Wrong Transition”, by a top Delhi-based scribe Anand K Sahay, has quoted “journalistic circles” to say that the Indian mainstream media – with certain “honourable exceptions” – has virtually abandoned the “practice of journalism”, and  this happened following a “sting operation” that showed that “the crème de la crème of Indian journalism were only too willing, for a suitable price, to let poisonous Hindutva propaganda prevail in their news columns.”

Ex-IAS, IPS, IFS officers tell Modi: Pragya Thakur doesn't represent India's rich heritage

Counterview Desk
In an open statement, a group of former civil servants have said that normally they would have dismissed the candidature of Pragya Thakur, who is BJP’s choice for the Bhopal Lok Sabha constituency, as an act of political expediency. However, they were forced to react to her candidature after none other than Prime Minister Narendra Modi termed has as a “symbol of our civilisational heritage.”

Disproportionately high death sentences against Dalits, Adivasis, Muslims: UN told

Counterview Desk
In their joint submission to the United Nations Human Rights Committee to meet for the listing of adoption of list of issues at its 126th session, July 1-26, 2019, top Dalit rights organizations have taken strong exception to, among other things, "disproportional application of death sentencing by the judiciary of minorities, such as Muslims, Dalits and Adivasis".