Sourcing documents from suspended IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt whose wife Sweta is the Congress candidate against Narendra Modi, activist-turned-politician Arvind Kejriwal made a slew of corruption allegations against the Gujarat Chief Minister. He accused Modi of giving gas wells to companies with alleged dubious antecedents, and of decisions aimed to benefit the Adani group.
Kejriwal also alleged that Modi had distributed land in Gandhinagar for a pittance to MPs and MLAs across parties who then sold off the land at hefty prices. Questioned by the court on the allotments, the CM, he alleged, had made similar allotments to judges to ensure that the matter is “never taken up for hearing again”.
Kejriwal, whose Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) is awaiting registration by the Election Commission, claimed that he was making the “expose” in public interest. He did not rule out visiting Gujarat ahead of the elections and alleged that the acrimony between Modi and the Congress party is just an eyewash. “They are partners in corruption,” he alleged.
According to Kejriwal, a company owned by a Canadian not only received benefits from Modi in Gujarat but also from UPA government at the Centre.
While most documents that Kejriwal furnished as “proof” are public documents like the CAG report and annual reports of companies, he claimed some were supplied to him by suspended IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt. “He approached me some time back with these documents that revealed Modi’s corruption. What beats me though is why his wife who is contesting elections against the Chief Minister could not have raised these matters herself or why he did not choose to give them to the Congress party which has given a ticket to his wife,” Kejriwal said.
Asked about the possibility of AAP being used as a pawn to further the electoral interests of Shweta Bhatt, lawyer Prashant Bhushan said the decision to make the allegations public was taken only after they were convinced that there was truth in the matter.
Kejriwal also spoke about alleged sweetheart deals that Modi had granted to Adani Power by buying power from them at Rs 5.45 per unit despite a lower offer from Gujarat Mineral Development Corporation and then going out of his way to force GMDC to allocate coal blocks to Adani.
He accused Modi of giving prime land in Gandhinagar at throwaway rates to elected representatives who then made windfall gains by selling them.
Allegations baseless, says Modi govt
The Narendra Modi government on Tuesday termed the allegations made by Arvind Kejriwal as “absolutely baseless”.
Reacting to Kejriwal's charges that Modi gave undue favours to some companies and that there were large-scale irregularities in a gas deal of the Gujarat State Petroleum Corporation's, state Industries Minister Saurabh Patel said in a statement that the allegations were levelled by “those unable to bear the popularity” of Modi.
On the allegations the state government had allotted land to MPs and MLAs in prime areas of Gandhinagar at concessional rates to build houses and that many of these MPs and MLAs had sold off these plots at much higher rates, Patel said, “Policy to give land to MPs and MLAs in Gandhinagar is very old, it is not made by Modi.”
He said the practice of allotting land to MPs and MLAs was scrapped five years ago, adding that in cases where land was allotted at concessional rates, a ban has been imposed on its sale.
He also dismissed the allegation that the state government favoured Adnani group in any way.