Highlights of the Press briefing Held at 1630 Hours 23.04.2014
Shri Abhishek Manu Singhviaddressed the media today.
Shri Abhishek Manu Singhvi saidI am going to be asking some questions today and I hope we will get some answersand if they are very busy in taunting, abusing during election campaign andperhaps can answer by tomorrow or even perhaps day after tomorrow but we needsome answers. The nation needs some answers. The Janta to whom you arelecturing wants some answers and this set of questions relate to examples ofcrony capitalism, examples of squandering of State largesse as if it is yourprivate feudal estate and it demands answers in the public interest. There aremany questions, may be I will reduce little bit. Let us see how many they cananswer.
My first question is – did theGujarat Urja Vikas Nigam enter into two power purchase agreements with Mr.Modi’s favorite friend – one for Rs. 2.89 per unit for purchase of electricityfrom that friend, the other for Rs. 2.35 per unit. The first one being only forimported coal, second for being imported and domestic coal mixed and on thosetwo rates, immediately before another Indian supplier of electricity, did theyhave a separate agreement of Rs. 2.26 per unit namely 643 paise less per unit.So 63 paise per unit more in each of the two PPAs is paid, multiplied by thethousands of units supplied comes to about Rs. 1,347 crore loss for two yearsand for a 25 year contract which this PPA was it comes to Rs. 23,625 crore.
Shri Singhvi said my question isplease tell the nation why you gave a direct benefit of Rs. 23,625 crore over aperiod of 25 year contract for supply of electricity by agreeing to pay 63paise per unit more for electricity and thereby squandered state resources andalso why the second related question which is part of the first question, you,to add insult to injury, gave land at cheap rates to set up that power plant.So land is given at extremely cheap subsidized rate and power is purchase atvery expensive rates.
Second question – the same friendis given land very cheap, no answer is given. The charged price to him is forvarying parcels of land from Rs. 2.50 to Rs. 25/- per sq. mt. The market priceis Rs. 1,000 to Rs. 1,500 per sq.mt.He is given 5,465 Hectares which is equal to 5,46,56,819 sq. mts. On anydifferential of market price, if you are to calculate this humongous amount ofRs. 5,465 Hectares, equal to 5.5 crore sq. mts. I find it impossible to believethat till now the Gujarat government headed by the Prime Ministerial pretenderwho gives us lectures of good governance everyday has failed to answer thesimple question – why and how?
Third question – Have you – Mr.Gujarat Chief Minister, taken any action against your colleague and some people say you want to install her now as your successor Chief Minister becauseyou have already assumed that you are the Prime Minister of the country. Youare always very presumptuous. This Minister was hauled up the Supreme Court andstrictured for allotting 36 acres plot to a company in complete violation ofthe rules. The Bench of the Supreme Court said “She has simply brushed asidethe objections of all the Secretaries merely because the Chief Minister’s Secretaryhad written a letter regarding this allotment” and further they write, this isover riding of the Secreatries’ opinion was done without Minister giving anyreason. The questions I have asked why after Supreme Court strictures, are youcontinuing with her indeed have promoted her to a de-facto ChiefMinister’s opposition and why are you giving lecturers that we will remove, wewill take action against everybody. Please look into your backward first.
The facts are that an Aluminarefinery was allotted a plot in Bhuj paying Rs. 3.15 crore to the Stategovernment. They could not do the refinery project, they admitted failure. Therules required if you admit failure, the plot must revert to the stategovernment and they state government must auction it. This company first failsto do the project for which it got cheap, it then adds insult to injury, itdoes not return the land to the government. It directly resells without anyauction to a third party company and the Supreme Court directed; please refundthe loss of Rs. 3.156 crore which you have caused. Loss was Rs. 3.1256 croreand I will add a foot note to this – Mr. Modi appointed MB Shah Commission ofEnquiry for looking into various allotments. Specifically this allotment wasexcluded from the MB Shah terms of reference. Why – that is my related secondquestion.
Fourth question – Why did you givelecturers on good governance and probity when you have Mr. Purushottam Solankiand Babulal Bokharia in your cabinet? They are convicted Ministers functioningunder interim court stay. Why do you give these lectures? Why do you preachwithout practice, why are you hypocritical, why do you shed crocodile tears oncorrption and probity.
Fifth question – You have justgiven a few statements about how you believe in governance and inclusive Indiaand do not stand by comment of your colleagues. Question – why did you not walkof the stage when Mr. Kadam made very-very communally harmonious statement just24 hours ago? He made ideal statements for pluralistic inclusive India. Youwere on the stage – why did you not walk away?
Sixth question – We have repeatedlysaid, I am saying again, but you have given no answer. Rs. 10,000 crore is thetotal election campaign expenditure you under your Prime Ministerial ambitionsof which Rs. 5,000 crore is supposed to be for only ad campaigns. The questionis – this is more than President Barack Obama spent on his entire presidentialcampaign i.e. Rs. 5,000 crore. Mr. Barack Obama had to declare every penny ofit. Why do you not give on account statement of what you have spent in adsalone and we have made from this podium this allegation, that there has beendeafening eloquent silence by you.
Coming back to being cronycapitalism – why did you give 9,558 acres of land in and around Kutch withoutcompetitive bidding at less than Rs. 1.29 lakh per acre to the Adanis and theAdanis resold it to the Indian Oil Corporation at Rs. 29 lakhs per acre. Pleaseclarify to the nation whether you gave land for a car plant to an automanufacturer at less than Rs. 900/- per sq. mt. which had earlier been reservedfor Gujarat University when the minimum price for that land in the market wasRs. 10,000/- per sq. mt.
Shri Singhvi said I have many moreexamples and questions but I will wait and see the rate of answer before I askfurther set of questions and I do hope it is not me, it is not the Congressalone, although we are, of course, very interested but the nation must know. Wedeserve to know and this is not lonely crony capitalism, it is not only aboutthe pondering state resources, it is about hypocrisy; it is about preachingwithout practice, it is about giving homilies which you never intend to follow.