Skip to main content

Modi doled out huge concessions to Gujarat tycoons by "creating" mechanism for legalised corruption: Ex-BJP CM

Modi enjoying camel ride at Sharadotsav
By Our Representative
Starting with 2005, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, as Gujarat chef minister, created a well-oiled mechanism, under which he made top tycoons to fund, and also politically support, his well-publicized festivals and business meetings, including the biennial Vibrant Gujarat world business summits, and in return doled away huge concessions to them.
Calling it "legalised corruption", former BJP chief minister and industries minister under Modi in 2001-02, Suresh Mehta, who resigned from BJP in 2007, told media in Ahmedabad that this unique "Gujarat model" took shape starting with an August 5, 2005 government resolution (GR), which allowed state officials to open a separate account for the money received from business houses and use it in festivities.
"In complete violation of the Constitution, which bars any funds to be used for official purposes if they are not permitted by the legislature, the GR formed a committee consisting of ministers and government officials, which at its two formal meetings on August 16 and 22 asked district collector, Kutch, Pradeep Sharma, to open an account with State Bank of India (SBI), where the funds received for the first such festival, Rannotsav, held later that year, was kept", Mehta said.
Claiming to have received the information under the Right to Information (RTI) Act after "frequent denials" to show official records, for which he had to make several appeals, Mehta, who is not associated with any political party, said, "The records which I have received show that 453 big and small companies, private individuals, cooperative banks, cinema houses, petrol pumps, business associations, etc. were were made to fund the Sharadotsav."
Modi with Kutch collector Pradeep Sharma
"What is shocking is that, in this effort for Modi's officially-sponsored festival even village panchayats were not spared. As many as 136 of them, many extremely poor, were forced to give money for Sharadotsav. If they refused, they were forced to give just about Rs 500", Mehta said, handing over documents in support of his claims.
Pointing out that the total funds thus collected in the SBI account No of 090310007623 of Bhuj, Kutch district headquarter, was Rs 2.39 crore, Mehta said, "Officials wrote letters to business houses to fund the festival. Thus, the district collector wrote a letter to the Adani Port Ltd in Mundra, Kutch, to provide Rs 50 lakh. As against this, it sent across a cheque of Rs 25 lakh. Another business house, Welspun, gave Rs 55 lakh in four instalments."
Claiming that this "coincided" with tycoons being offered "huge" concessions, Mehta said, "For instance, soon after this, Welspun was given 48 acres of land in Kutch for kickstarting an industrial unit at the rate of Rs 15 per metre, while the actual market rate was Rs 200 per metre. Even the assessment government rate, called jantri, was Rs 78 per metre."
Revealing that the SBI account opened for receiving money from different sources till date has not been closed, and has gone into dormant, Mehta added, "According to my information, Welspun, which owns 1,600 acres of land in Kutch, has so far been given away concessions worth Rs 21,000 crore."
Noting how the money collected from different sources, especially business houses, was used, Mehta said, "Information received under RTI shows that Modi ate a Gujarati sweet dish made of milk and rice, doodh pauva, for Rs 12,270, rode on a camel cart whose beds and pillows cost 15,625, and a private individual, said to have been the guest of Modi, Mansi Soni, was paid Rs 5,153 against her mobile recharge and petrol."

Comments

TRENDING

Communal rhetoric? Hindutva preached by RSS-BJP is 'monolithic', not Hinduism

By Prem Verma*  I am a devout Hindu but not a believer of RSS Hindutva form of Hinduism which brings about hatred of other religions. My Hindu religion has not taught me to look down on other religions and neither has it instilled in me to go about converting others to my religion because my religion is superior.

Gross 'injustice' to children: Rs 5000 cr cut in education budget; 15 lakh schools shut down

Counterview Desk  More than 100 dignitaries, including educationists, academia, social activists, teachers’ union, civil society organisations (CSOs), various networks and people working on child rights, in a letter to Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman have sought reversal of reduction in allocation for education in the Union Budget 2021-22, even as demanding substantial increase in it.

India sees 62 journo deaths, 4th highest, amidst pandemic: Swiss media rights body

By Our Representative The Switzerland-based media rights body Press Emblem Campaign (PEC) has noted that India is the fourth most affected country as far as mediapersons’ death on account of Covid-19 is concerned. According to Blaise Lempen, secretary-general of PEC, the global tally of casualties among media persons in the Covid-19 pandemic has reached 1,036 journalists in 73 countries till date.

Buddhist shrines massively destroyed by Brahmanical rulers in "pre-Islamic" era: Historian DN Jha's survey

Nalanda mahavihara By Our Representative Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book , "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

RSS love for 'killer' Myanmar junta behind Indian military presence at Tatmadaw Day?

By Shamsul Islam*  If a shameful act means an action which is criminal and nauseating, it would be an understatement to describe the attitude of the present RSS-BJP rulers of India towards the demolition of democracy and large-scale killing of the people of Myanmar by the military ( tatmadaw ) junta which took power through a coup on February 1, 2021 after renegading the election results in which the party of Aung San Suu Kyi, National League for Democracy, was a clear winner.

Chhattisgarh’s Apra riverfront imitates Sabarmati: 'Devaluing' water, environment

Sabarmati riverfront By Mansee Bal Bhargava*  This year’s #WorldWaterDay (March 22) focus was on ‘Valuing Water’. My school friend, Pragati Tiwari from Bilaspur, Chhattisgarh, called that day knowing my interest in water matters. We were remembering our childhood days as how we used to play on the banks and the bed of the Arpa Nadi (River) during the summer holidays and as how the river would swell like Anaconda to flow happily during the monsoon.

Bihar massacre on Holi day: Brahminical, casteist mindset behind 'uneasy' silence

Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar By Vidya Bhushan Rawat*  Several people were killed in Bihar amidst Holi festivities, but not much response has come in from the media. The silence of the government and the society as a whole is also appalling. We seek to romanticise these festivals, yet we forget that every year they take so many lives. This despite the fact that Holi appears to be the best time for 'avenging things'.

India's draft migrants policy: Whither concern on job restrictions imposed by states?

By Anil Kumar*  India’s Niti Aayog has prepared a Draft Migration Policy. The draft policy acknowledges migration as an integral part of development, and it calls for positive government interventions that facilitate internal migration. With a rights-based solution to migration, the draft states that the policy should “enhance the agency and capability of the community and thereby remove aspects that come in the way of an individual’s own natural ability to thrive”.

Recalling Jallianwala martyrs' communal amity as BJP 'warns' of Sitalkuchi everywhere

By Shamsul Islam*  The RSS-BJP rulers declare India to be a battle-ground between Hinduism and Islam. Muslims have been declared as ‘internal threat’ by RSS ideologue MS Golwalkar (“Bunch of Thought”, Chapter xvi). Behaviour of many of their leading cadres, including those who hold high constitutional posts, is such that they seem to be conspiring over-time to ignite a civil war between the two communities. They are under the impression that this would help divert attention from failures of the Hindutva rulers on developmental front.