New Delhi, May 7 (IANS) The Congress party on Saturday accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of large-scale corruption in the Gujarat State Petroleum Corporation (GSPC) during his tenure as chief minister and of using the PSU as a “cash cow” to fund his way to 7, Race Course Road. The party has demanded a Supreme Court-monitored probe into the case.
An All India Congress Committee (AICC) delegation led by Gurudas Kamat, party general secretary in-charge of Gujarat, met President Pranab Mukherjee on Saturday on the issue and submitted a memorandum.
“GSPC was a profit-making Public Sector Unit till Modi took over as chief minister. He used the entity for siphoning Rs.20,000 crore and to fund his prime ministerial dreams with that,” senior Congress leader from Gujarat Shakti Sinh Gohil, who was part of the delegation, told IANS.
“In 2005, being chief minister of Gujarat Modi had announced that GSPC has discovered 20 trillion cubic feet of gas reserves worth Rs.2.2 lakh crore at KG (Krishna Godavari) Basin, but the DG Hydrocarbons has categorically stated that recoverable value of the gas in that region is zero,” Gohil said, accusing Modi of lying to the country.
Ashwini Sekhri, party secretary in-charge of Gujarat, told IANS: “GSPC has taken loans from a consortium of banks to invest Rs.19,576 crore in exploration of gas, and not a penny has been returned, and nobody found any petroleum gas there.”
Sekhri insisted that the major amount of the money was used “to fund Modi’s political exercises”.
“We made an appeal to the President that a Supreme Court-monitored inquiry must be initiated into the entire episode. The truth must come out,” Sekhri added.
Gohil also accused the GSPC of awarding “dubious contracts” to a private firm, Geo Global Resources (India) Inc, in an arbitrary manner.
“It remains unexplained as to how Geo Global, which was incorporated just six days before the agreement with GSPC, had its total capital increased to Rs.10,000 crore from a mere Rs.3,200 in six days,” Gohil said.
“The company was given a 10 percent share free of cost without following any transparent procedure and contrary to established principles.”
A Comptroller and Auditor General of India report that was tabled in the Gujarat legislative assembly earlier this year said that Geo Global Resources (India) Inc was founded in Calgary city of Canada by Jean Paul Roy. The report authenticates that GSPC invested Rs.1,734.60 crore from the public exchequer on behalf of Geo Global Resources (India) Inc without recovering a single penny.
Other than Kamat, Gohil and Sekhri, Ahmad Patel, and senior MLAs from Gujarat assembly were also part of the delegation that met President Mukherjee and submitted a memorandum to him.
(Vinayak Dutt can be contacted at email@example.com)