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Congress too allotted us land in Gujarat: Gautam Adani

April 29, 2014 16:42 IST

Congress too allotted us land in Gujarat: Gautam Adani

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‘I have received no special favours from Narendra Modi.’ 

‘It was Congress government in state that allotted land to us.’

‘Wrong to accuse me of being BJP’s ATM machine.’

‘I have equations with political parties across the fraternity.’

Gautam Adani, head of the Rs 45,000-crore Adani group that is in the midst of a controversy, with the Congress party charging the BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi with showing special favours to them, speaks to CNN-IBN.

Gautam Adani in a television interview denied receiving any special favours from Narendra Modi. He told CNN-IBN that the Adanis got cheaper land when Congress Chief Minister Chimanbhai Patel was in power.

He said he has equations with political parties across the fraternity and got no special favours from Modi.

On being called another Ambani and being close to Narendra Modi.

Narendra Modi is the chief minister only for the last 12 years. The Adani group is a much older entity. Our journey started from global trading business where the state government had no role.

In 1993 we thought of expanding into infrastructure business.

Since 1991, the Government of India encouraged infrastructure business through the public-private-partnership model when PV Narasimha Rao was prime minister and Manmohan Singh was the finance minister.

In 1993, Chimanbhai Patel's government in Gujarat first started allotting land for salt manufacturing.

Then in 1995 the BJP government of Gujarat, under Keshubhai Patel, made ports as the lead industrial development.

In 1998, under Keshubhai’s leadership, there were talks of developing 10 ports in Gujarat and Mundra was one of the locations the government had narrowed down.

Permissions for ports were given during the Shankarsinh and Sureshbhai Mehta governments.

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Image: BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi.
Photographs: Adnan Abidi/Reuters.

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Congress too allotted us land in Gujarat: Gautam Adani

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On the Adani business growing because of proximity to Narendra Modi.

The Adani group's growth and vision are for nation-building. Infrastructure projects have been getting encouragement since 1991. When Modi came to the helm, he gave even more encouragement. In fact, all infrastructure companies grew more at that time.

On Adani shares rocketing because of the perception that Modi is tipped to be the next PM.

The Modi government has definitely encouraged Infrastructure development -- not that the UPA didn’t -- but in the last five years policy paralysis has slowed down business.

So people now think that policy paralysis will not occur if Modi comes to power. Our shares are going up because of the sentiments.

On the Modi angle in Adani business.

Modi does not comment on any individual corporate house. He talks for the state or for the country.

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Image: Gautam Adani.
Photographs: Courtesy, Adani Enterprise

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Congress too allotted us land in Gujarat: Gautam Adani

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On Modi granting any special favours to Gautam Adani.

Not at all... And even we don’t have any such expectation.

On Gautam Adani giving his private plane to Narendra Modi.

We have an aviation department, which give planes on hire to whoever needs it. Our planes can be hired by any political party on payment. They can pay the money and hire one. We don’t give Modi planes for free.

On charges that the BJP is having an Adani ATM and the Adani group promoting BJP.

I am not a political person, we don’t indulge in any such thing.

On political funding/donations.

We will discuss the issue in the board meeting. We haven’t decided anything yet. We have not contributed to any political party as yet and this includes the BJP and Congress as well.

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Image: The Mundra port in Gujarat.
Photographs: Courtesy, Adani Enterprise

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Congress too allotted us land in Gujarat: Gautam Adani

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On Rahul talking about toffee model in Gujarat -- that Adani got land for Re 1 like a toffee.

You must have seen the development at Mundra port. The development took place 10 years before Modi came to power. Chimanbhai, who ran a Congress government, gave that land for 10 paisa, then Keshubhai gave it for Re 1, Modi gave it for Re 15 per sq metre.

You also need to understand that this is not a private or agricultural land; rather it is a barren wasteland.

We also took land in Rajasthan where the Congress’s Ashok Gehlot led the government. We have also developed projects in Maharashtra, where the state government is the Congress's.

Wherever the Adani group puts up its projects, we get full support either by the Congress, BJP or regional parties. We work under the policies wherever we do business. We don’t ask for any concessions. We do it respectfully.

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Image: The Mundra Port.
Photographs: Courtesy, Adani Enterprise

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Congress too allotted us land in Gujarat: Gautam Adani

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On Rahul and Priyanka Gandhi making allegations against the Adanis' growth.

I don’t know what their advisors tell them, so I will not like to comment on their political grudges. The Adani issue will get over once the elections are over.

We got the land 12 years back. Why did this issue not crop up in the last 12 years? I, therefore, believe that this is a political issue.

We have not taken any favours nor do we have any intentions.

On the perception that you are only close to the BJP or Modi.

In infrastructure projects, wherever you are, you have to work hand in hand with the state or central government.

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Image: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
Photographs: Reuters

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Congress too allotted us land in Gujarat: Gautam Adani

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On Modi batting for you against Jayanti Natarajan.

A number of projects got stalled due to environmental clearance. The Congress is trying to resolve that. I don't believe that Modi is speaking specially for us. He talks on the basis of information that he personally has.

Who is a better candidate for PM -- Narendra Modi or Manmohan Singh?

Dr Singh has also done good work. His tenure in UPA-I was pretty good. In the last two-three years a lot of things have been stalled because of indecisiveness.

As we have seen in Gujarat, such issues won’t crop up if Modi comes to power.


Image: Rahul and Priyanka Gandhi.
Photographs: Reuters

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