New Delhi: RTI activist-turned-politician Arvind Kejriwal has found a new target and at the right time.
In an expose that is set to generate some heat in the poll-bound Gujarat, the National Convener of the Aam Admi Party on Tuesday accused the Chief Minister of being "hand-in-glove with the Congress in widespread corruption".
However, his claim could also be used by the party to discredit this latest ‘expose’ as Kejriwal has claimed that he got all information about 'Modi scam' from suspended IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt. Incidentally Bhatt’s wife Shweta is running against Modi in the Maninagar constituency in Ahmedabad.
This could be used by the BJP to discredit this latest ‘expose’ but Kejriwal took care to mention that they had verified all the information before going public.
Kejriwal claimed Modi has stakes in KG basin through a firm called GeoGlobal.
He said: "People think Modi is anti-Congress, but he is not. He has high stakes in Jubilant Enpro Private Limited which is owned by the husband of Congress Chief Sonia Gandhi's close friend Jubilant Enpro Private Limited. He invested in Jubilant Enpro but on papers it was GeoGlobal."
Kejriwal alleged that the BJP and the Congress-led UPA were both involved in the scam. "Not only Modi, but the UPA too allotted 10 per cent gas wells to GeoGlobal. Bikaner gas wells were also given to GeoGlobal. Modi had written to Central government in 2010 asking for the cancellation of contract with GeoGlobal. The letter is lying with the Centre for the last two years."
"Why didn't the Congress raise the issue for the last nine years?" Kejriwal asked.
Kejriwal also questioned Modi's alleged links with the Adani Group, asking why the conglomerate was given acres of land at Rs 1 per square metre when the prevailing market rate was Rs 300 per square metre.
"The Modi government gave 14,306 acres of land to Adani at the rate of Rs 1 per square metre, where as market rate was Rs 300 per square metre. But when the IAF asked Gujarat for land, they were told that they would have to pay Rs 88 per square metre. The PM had to intervene to ensure allotment of land to IAF," Kejriwal alleged.
"Gujarat government bought electricity from Adani at the rate of Rs 5.50 from the Adani Group in 2007 even though the Gujarat Mineral Development Corporation (GMDC) had offered to provide electricity at Rs 2.25 in short term merchandise. This offer was ignored," Kejriwal added, alleging that the GMDC chairman was later transferred at the behest of Adani Group.
His claims follow an earlier Tehelka expose, in which it was alleged the Modi government gave away 10% stake in a KG Basin gas field to GeoGlobal Resources, a company that existed only on paper.
The Tehelka write-up, which quoted extensively from the CAG report on the deal between GeoGlobal and the state government-owned Gujarat State Petroleum Corporation (GSPC), says that the deal gave the Barbados company Rs20,000 crore, virtually for nothing.
The GSPC formed a consortium in March 2003 with GeoGlobal Resources India Inc and an Indian company named Jubilant Enpro Pvt Ltd, to bid for a gas block measuring approximately 4,57,000 acres in the Krishna-Godavari (KG) Basin. As per the Modi government’s own estimates, the gas field was worth about $20 billion (Rs 1,10,000 crore). Interestingly, GeoGlobal was incorporated in Barbados with $64 capital just six days before the formation of the consortium. Further, it was a one-man company as it was controlled effectively by just one person named Jean Paul Roy, a resident of Guatemala.
Tehelka has alleged that the Barbados-based company didn’t pay a single penny for the 10% stake given to it by the Gujarat government.
Kejriwal also accused Modi of giving free lands to his ministers and MLAs.
Kejriwal had earlier targeted BJP national president Nitin Gadkari and industrialist Mukesh Ambani.
He had also taken up the issue of black money stashed abroad and accused a foreign bank of encouraging corruption in India.
It would be interesting to see whether Kejriwal’s fresh expose will be able to generate the same heat as his previous revelations against high-profile politicians and industry tycoons.
(With DNA, CNN-IBN inputs)