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Congress' SIX questions to target Modi

April 24, 2014 13:50 IST

Congress' SIX questions to target Modi

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Renu Mittal in New Delhi

Gujarat chief minister and Bharatiya Janata Party’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi’s close ties with big corporate groups has once again come under focus with the Congress ‘bringing out details’ on how he distributed largesse at the cost of the state government.

Levelling charges of crony capitalism, Congress spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi posed six questions to Modi

First question: Did the Gujarat Urja Vikas Nigam enter into two power purchase agreements with Modi’s 'favourite friend' -- one for Rs. 2.89 per unit for purchase of electricity from that friend, the other for Rs. 2.35 per unit?

The first one being only for imported coal, second for being imported and domestic coal mixed and on those two rates, immediately before another Indian supplier of electricity, did they have a separate agreement of Rs. 2.26 per unit, namely 63 paise less per unit?

So 63 paise per unit more in each of the two power purchase agreements is paid, multiplied by the thousands of units supplied comes to about Rs 1,347 crore loss for two years and for a 25 year contract, with this PPA, comes to Rs. 23,625 crore. The friend in question here is industrialist Gautam Adani.

Please tell the nation why you gave a direct benefit of Rs. 23,625 crore to Adani and thereby squandered state resources?

Also the second related question. To add insult to injury you gave land at cheap rates to set up that power plant?

So land is given at extremely cheap subsidised rates and power is purchased at very expensive rates.

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'Why was Adani given land at cheap rates?'

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Second question: The same friend is given land at very cheap rates, and no answer is given. The charged price to him is for varying parcels of land from Rs 2.50 to Rs 25/- per square metres. The market price is Rs. 1,000 to Rs 1,500 per sq.mt. He is given 5,465 hectares (5.46 crore sq mt).

Singhvi asked, “I find it impossible to believe that till now the Gujarat government headed by the prime ministerial pretender who gives us lectures of good governance everyday has failed to answer the simple question -- why and how?”

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Image: Industrialist Gautam Adani

Tags: Singhvi

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'Why no action against Anandiben Patel?'

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Third question: Has the Gujarat chief minister taken any action against his colleague Anandiben Patel who some people say you want to install as your successor because you have already assumed that you are the prime minister of the country? You are always very presumptuous.

This minister was hauled up by the Supreme Court and strictured for allotting a 36-acre plot to a company in complete violation of the rules. The bench of the Supreme Court said, “She has simply brushed aside the objections of all the secretaries merely because the chief minister’s secretary had written a letter regarding this allotment”?

Further they wrote this is overriding of the secretaries’ opinion and was done without the minister giving any reason.

So why, after Supreme Court strictures, are you continuing with her indeed have promoted her to a de-facto chief minister’s position? Why are you giving lecturers that we will remove, we will take action against everybody? Please look into your background first.

An aluminum refinery was allotted a plot in Bhuj paying Rs 3.15 crore to the state government. They could not build the refinery project, they admitted failure. The rules required if you admit failure, the plot must be reverted to the state government and the state government must auction it.

This company first failed start a project for which it got cheap land, it then added insult to injury by not returning the land to the government. It directly resold the plot without any auction to a third party company the Supreme Court directed them to refund the loss which the company caused.

Modi appointed the M B Shah commission of inquiry for looking into various allotments. Specifically this allotment was excluded from the commission's terms of reference. What is the reason?

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'Why do you have convicted ministers in your cabinet?

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Fourth question: Why give lecturers on good governance and probity when you have Purushottam Solanki and Babulal Bokharia in your cabinet? They are convicted ministers functioning under interim court stay.

Why do you give these lectures? Why do you preach without practice, why are you hypocritical, why do you shed crocodile tears on corruption and probity?

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'Why did you tolerate communal speech in your presence?

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Fifth question: You have just given a few statements about how you believe in governance and inclusive India and do not stand by the comments of your colleagues.

Then why did you not walk off the stage when the Shiv Sena’s Ramdas Kadam made communally damaging statements (at a rally in Mumbai’s MMRDA Grounds on Monday)? You were on the stage -- why did you not walk away?

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Image: TV grab showing Ramdas Kadam addressing supporters in Modi's presence at Mumbai's MMRDA Grounds


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'Why no statement on your poll advertisements?

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Sixth question: We have repeatedly said asked you on this, but you have given no answer. Rs 10,000 crore is your total election campaign expenditure under your prime ministerial ambitions of which Rs. 5,000 crore is supposed to be for ad campaigns only. This is more than what United States President Barack Obama spent on his entire presidential campaign ie Rs. 5,000 crore. However, Obama had to declare every penny of it.

Why do you not give on account a statement of what you have spent in ads alone?

Singhvi also asked why did Modi give 9,558 acres of land in and around Kutch without competitive bidding at less than Rs. 1.29 lakh per acre to the Adanis, which the company sublet to the Indian Oil Corporation at Rs 29 lakh per acre.

“Please clarify to the nation whether you gave land for a car plant to an auto manufacturer at less than Rs 900 per sq mt which had earlier been reserved for Gujarat University when the minimum price for that land in the market was Rs. 10,000 per sq mt?” Singhvi charged.

Taking a tough line, the Congress said what they have just said “is not just about crony capitalism, it is not only about the pondering state resources, it is about hypocrisy; it is about preaching without practice, it is about giving homilies.

 


Image: Children wear vests with images of Modi during an election campaign rally in Surendranagar
Photographs: Amit Dave/Reuters

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