Skip to main content

Gujarat govt's electoral contribution to BJP by cheque in 2009-10? No state dept knows who made the payment

Modi, Suresh Mehta
By Rajiv Shah
While it is well known that top business houses of Gujarat have liberally contributed to the BJP to meet its electoral expenses, putting Congress in an unenviable position, surprisingly, in 2009-10, when Prime Minister Narendra Modi ruled the state, his government, too, made a contribution, albeit small, to the saffron party!
The 2009-10 list of donations of more than Rs 20,000, submitted by the BJP’s then office in-charge Shyam Jaju to the Election Commission of India (ECI) on December 1, 2010, has an entry on page 13, showing that the “Government of Gujarat, Gandhinagar”, donated Rs 25,000 as electoral contribution to the party by cheque No 482811 of State Bank of India.
Former BJP chief minister Suresh Mehta, who dug out this piece information more than a year ago, told Counterview, “I have been filing Right to Information (RTI) pleas to ascertain who in the state government paid this money, violating all constitution norms. Yet, no state department, including the chief secretary’s office, knows who made the payment.”
In his RTI plea, Mehta, who resigned from the BJP in 2007, sought information for several of his queries, including under which budget head the amount was paid, who took the decision about paying the amount to the BJP, what was the justification for the payment, and which state departments advised to make the payment.
Seeking to see all file notings preceding the decision to send the cheque to the BJP, Mehta wondered whether the amount was paid under the “consolidated fund or any other fund” of the state budget, and how and when its “conciliation/appropriation” – a budgetary requirement – was carried out for making the payment.
Screenshot from the document showing GoG payment to BJP
Documents handed over by Mehta to Counterview suggest the state government departments, which could possibly be responsible for giving the donation to the BJP, including the chief minister’s office (CMO) have been, over the last one year, offering just one reply: That they “can’t find the information” about the donation.
The documents suggest that Mehta – who had filed his RTI to the CMO, the general administration department (GAD), the finance department and the parliamentary affairs department – got some very interesting replies. The first one, dated March 21, 2017, by the GAD, sought information from the ex-chief minister, if he had any, as it couldn’t find any!
Yet another reply by the GAD, dated May 22, 2017, told Mehta that he had sought information from “more than department”, but “we cannot find the requisite information you have sought even after visiting the Gujarat chief secretary’s office several times over.” It adds, “Nor is it clear as to which department is responsible for making a decision about the information you have sought”.
Failing to get information, Mehta approached the Gujarat Information Commission (GIC), the state’s RTI watchdog, which in its order, signed by its commissioner Dilip P Thaker on April 17, 2018, asked the ex-CM to “furnish any information” he has to the GAD about the payment to the BJP within 15, adding, on receiving the information the GAD should “provide its reply” within a fortnight.
Complying by GIC order, in its final reply to Mehta, dated May 4, 2018, the GAD said, “After examing the cash cheque book for the year 2009-10, it has been found that State Bank of India’s cheque No 482811 of Rs 25,000, about which you have referred to, is not there the cash notebook, which means, the GAD and the chief secretary’s office have not made any such payment.”
Comments Mehta, “While the GAD says that it has not issued the cheque, the state government should come clean and say who, if at all, issued the cheque. Interestingly, the state government officials are even refusing to categorically state that the entry of making payment to the BJP was a mistake, or that the state government did not make the payment at all…”

Comments

Anonymous said…
The SBI can give information from which account the cheque was received and debited.
Vasudev Charupa said…
Very sensitive article
Its clearly theft of public money
Uma said…
A clever case of political-cum-financial lederdemain

TRENDING

'Flawed' argument: Gandhi had minimal role, naval mutinies alone led to Independence

Counterview Desk Reacting to a Counterview  story , "Rewiring history? Bose, not Gandhi, was real Father of Nation: British PM Attlee 'cited'" (January 26, 2016), an avid reader has forwarded  reaction  in the form of a  link , which carries the article "Did Atlee say Gandhi had minimal role in Independence? #FactCheck", published in the site satyagrahis.in. The satyagraha.in article seeks to debunk the view, reported in the Counterview story, taken by retired army officer GD Bakshi in his book, “Bose: An Indian Samurai”, which claims that Gandhiji had a minimal role to play in India's freedom struggle, and that it was Netaji who played the crucial role. We reproduce the satyagraha.in article here. Text: Nowadays it is said by many MK Gandhi critics that Clement Atlee made a statement in which he said Gandhi has ‘minimal’ role in India's independence and gave credit to naval mutinies and with this statement, they concluded the whole freedom struggle.

A Hindu alternative to Valentine's Day? 'Shiv-Parvati was first love marriage in Universe'

By Rajiv Shah*   The other day, I was searching on Google a quote on Maha Shivratri which I wanted to send to someone, a confirmed Shiv Bhakt, quite close to me -- with an underlying message to act positively instead of being negative. On top of the search, I chanced upon an article in, imagine!, a Nashik Corporation site which offered me something very unusual. 

Don't agree on domestic subsidies, ensure food security at WTO meet: Farmer leaders

Counterview Desk  The Indian Coordination Committee of Farmers Movements (ICCFM), a top network of farmers’ organizations in India, in a letter to Piyush Goyal, Minister of Commerce and Industry, has asked him to “safeguard food security and sovereignty, even as ensuring peasants' rights" at the 13th Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization (WTO MC 13), to take place from 26 to 29 February 2024 in Abu Dhabi.

Students, lawyers, professors detained in Delhi for demonstrating in support of farmers

By Our Representative  About 25 protestors, belonging to the civil rights network, Campaign Against State Repression (CASR), a coalition of over 40 organisations, were detained at Jantar Mantar for holding a demonstration in support of the farmers' stir on Friday. Those detained included students, lawyers and professors, including Prof Nandita Narain and Prof N Sachin. 

Sharp 61-85% fall in Tech startup funding in India's top 'business-friendly' States

By Rajiv Shah Funding in Tech startups in top business-friendly Indian states has witnessed a major fall, a data intelligence platform for private market research has said in a series of reports it has released this month. Analysing Tech startup data of Telangana, Maharashtra, Delhi NCR, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala, Tracxn Technologies Ltd , the Bengaluru-based research firm, finds that except for Kerala, funding witnessed a fall of anywhere between 61% and 85%.

Solar energy funding dips 9% in 2023; 2024 'kicks off' with US$1 billion investment

By Lakshmitha Raj*  Solar energy tech companies have already secured slightly over US$1 billion in funding in 2024 (till Feb 7, 2024) after total funding into Solar Energy companies in India fell 9% to US$1.55B in 2023 from US$1.7B in 2022. A total of 39 $100M+ rounds have been closed till date, with Delhi leading the city-wise funding, followed by Gurugram and Mumbai.

Maize, bajra, jute, banana cultivation banned off West Bengal border: Plea to NHRC

Counterview Desk  West Bengal-based human rights defender Kirity Roy, who is secretary, Banglar Manabadhikar Suraksha Manch, and is national convenor of the Programme Against Custodial Torture & Impunity, in a representation to the chairman, National Human Rights Commission, second within few days, has bought to light one more case of trespassing and destruction of a fertile banana plantation by BSF personnel along the Indo-Bangladesh border, stating, despite a written complaint to the police has taken "no initiative".

India second best place to invest, next to UAE, yet there is 'lacks support' for IT services

By Sreevas Sahasranamam, Aileen Ionescu-Somers*  The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is the best place in the world to start a new business, according to the latest annual Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) survey. The Arab nation is number one for the third year in a row thanks to a big push by the government into cutting-edge technology in its efforts to diversify away from oil.

Buddhist shrines were 'massively destroyed' by Brahmanical rulers: Historian DN Jha

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".

Mahanadi delta: Aggressive construction in flood plains, reduced fish stock, pollution

By Sudhansu R Das  Frequent natural calamities, unemployment, low farmers’ income, increase in crime rate and lack of quality human resources to strike a balance between growth and environment etc. continue to haunt the state. The state should delve into the root causes of poverty, unemployment and natural calamities.