Congress, BJP ‘happy doing business with each other’
Arvind Kejriwal of the newly-launched Aam Aadmi Party on Tuesday targeted Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi and the Congress for working “in tandem” when it comes to business interests.
At a press conference, Kejriwal alleged that Modi had “gifted away” 20 per cent stake of State-owned Gujarat State Petroleum Corp (GSPC) to two companies – Geo Global and Jubilant Enpro – “completely free of cost”.
Also, Modi had showered “undue benefits” to the Adanis, by buying electricity at steep rates and giving away land at “throwaway prices,” he charged.
He later disclosed that documents concerning the Adanis had been handed over to him by suspended IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt, whose wife is a Congress candidate against Modi.
Kejriwal said GSPC, a State-owned exploration company, acquired gas blocks in KG Basin in August 2002. According to Government’s own estimates, the fields allotted to GSPC were worth $20 billion, he added.
“The Modi Government entered into production sharing agreements with Geo Global and Jubilant Enpro…and gave away 10 per cent of participating interest to each of these two companies completely free of cost.”
Kejriwal questioned the selection of these two companies, as he alleged that according to records, it was not through competitive bidding.
He alleged that Geo Global, owned by one Jean Paul Roy, was incorporated just six days before their agreement with GSPC and on the day of the agreement, its total capital was $64 (Rs 3,200) only.
“So, from a Rs 3,200 worth company, it became a Rs 10,000 crore worth company within six days,” he said.
Alleging that Congress was a partner with Modi in the “loot”, Kejriwal said the other company, Jubilant Enpro, was owned by Shyam Sunder Bhartia, husband of Shobhana Bhartia, a Congress nominated member in the Rajya Sabha.
Alleging “similar illegal benefits” to Roy in the UPA regime, Kejriwal said “Geo Global’s Web site shows that it has entered into several production sharing contracts in KG Basin, Cambay Basin, Deccan Syneclise Basin and Bikaner Nagaur basin. Many of these contracts have been entered into with OIL, which is a Central PSU. The contracts with OIL happened during UPA regime.”
‘Largesse’ to Adanis
Kejriwal alleged that bids for long-term power purchase agreements were ‘manipulated’ in favour of the Adanis in 2007, which was also taken note of by the Gujarat High Court.
In February 2007, the Modi Government entered into two agreements with Adanis for supply electricity at Rs 2.35 and Rs 2.89 per unit, respectively, despite State-owned Gujarat Mineral Development Corporation offering a rate of Rs 2.25.
He alleged this was because a few days after signing the agreement, Adanis refused to supply electricity till they were supplied coal by the Gujarat Government. GMDC reportedly said they would supply coal if Adanis supplied electricity at Rs 2.25 per unit.
“Rather than reprimanding Adanis and cancelling their contract, Modi personally intervened. Jose, Chairman of GMDC, was transferred and GMDC was asked to supply 50 per cent of its coal from Naini block to Adanis,” Kejriwal said, flashing the copies of file notings made by Modi.
Despite this, the Adanis cancelled their contract in 2009 and the Gujarat Government started buying electricity from them under short-term contracts at Rs 5.5 per unit.
“So, in effect, the Adanis walked away with coal blocks without supplying the electricity at cheaper rates,” Kejriwal alleged.
He also alleged that Modi allotted 14,306 acres to Adanis in Kutch area at rates ranging from Re 1 per sq metre to Rs 32 per sq metre for a SEZ. In fact, most of the land has been allotted at less than Rs 10 per sq metre, he claimed.