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

India under Modi among top 10 autocratizing nations, on verge of 'losing' democracy status

By Rajiv Shah
A new report, prepared by a top Swedish institute studying liberal democracy, has observed that there has been a sharp “dive in press freedom along with increasing repression of civil society in India associated with the current Hindu-nationalist regime of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.” The report places India among the top 10 countries that “have autocratized the most”. Other countries that have been identified for rolling towards autocracy are -- Hungary, Turkey, Poland, Serbia, Brazil, Mali, Thailand, Nicaragua and Zambia.

Savarkar 'criminally betrayed' Netaji and his INA by siding with the British rulers

By Shamsul Islam*
RSS-BJP rulers of India have been trying to show off as great fans of Netaji. But Indians must know what role ideological parents of today's RSS/BJP played against Netaji and Indian National Army (INA). The Hindu Mahasabha and RSS which always had prominent lawyers on their rolls made no attempt to defend the INA accused at Red Fort trials.

Gujarat link of controversial US doctor who 'forced' WHO quiz Trump's wonder drug

By Rajiv Shah
A top American doctor, Sapan Sharankishor Desai, born and raised in the “affluent” North Shore (Chicago) region of Illinois by Indian parents, at one point of time involved in NGO activity through  dedicated to “improving” the lives of the impoverished in Gujarat, is in the eyes of a major international storm following his paper (retracted) in a “Lancet” questioning Donald Trump-promoted drug hydroxychloroquine.

Border conflict? RBI nod India's 'brotherly' help to China internationalise its currency

By Bhabani Shankar Nayak*
In the middle of a global pandemic, China started an unprovoked border conflict with India. It unraveled trust deficit and ties between the two neighbours. As thousands of Chinese troops tried occupying Indian territory, the Narendra Modi-led BJP government directs the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to allow the Bank of China to start regular banking services in India. The Bank of China will now operate in India like any other commercial banks.

RSS supremo Deoras 'supported' Emergency, but Indira, Sanjay Gandhi 'didn't respond'

By Shamsul Islam*
National Emergency was imposed on the country by then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi on June 25-26, 1975, and it lasted for 19 months. This period is considered as ''dark times' for Indian democratic polity. Indira Gandhi claimed that due to Jaiprakash Narayan's call to the armed forces to disobey the 'illegal' orders of Congress rulers had created a situation of anarchy and there was danger to the existence of Indian Republic so there was no alternative but to impose Emergency under article 352 of the Constitution.

Clean chit to British rulers, Muslim League? Karnataka to have Veer Savarkar flyovers

By Shamsul Islam*
The BJP government of Karnataka led by BS Yediyurappa is going to honour Hindutva icon VD Savarkar by naming two of the newly built major flyovers in Bangalore and Mangalore after him. There was a huge uproar against this decision of the RSS-BJP government as many pro-Kannada organisations with opposition parties and liberal-secular organizations questioned the logic to ignore so many freedom fighters, social reformers and others from within the state.

Hurried nod to Western Ghat projects: 16 lakh Goans' water security 'jeopardised'

Counterview Desk
Taking strong exception to "virtual clearances" to eco-sensitive projects in the Western Ghats, the National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM) in a statement has said urged for a review of the four-lane highway, 400 KV transmission line and double tracking of the railway line through the Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary and Mollem National Park in Goa.

Disturbing signal? Reliance 'shifting focus' away from Indian petrochemical sector

By NS Venkataraman*
Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL), a large Indian company, has expanded and grown in a spectacular manner during the last few decades, like of which no industrial group in India has performed before. RIL is now involved in multi various activities relating to petroleum refineries, petrochemicals, oil and gas exploration, coal bed methane, life sciences, retail business, communication network, (Jio platform) media/entertainment etc.

Case for nationalising India's healthcare system amidst 'strong' private control

Counterview Desk
A draft discussion note, prepared by Dr Maya Valecha, a Gujarat-based gynecologist and activist, sent to the People's Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) as also a large number of activists, academics and professionals as an email alert, is all set to create a flutter among policy experts for its strong insistence on nationalizing India’s healthcare system.