Adani denies Kejriwal charges
The Adani Group on Tuesday denied allegations levelled by activist-turned-politician Arvind Kejriwal and his team against the conglomerate of receiving undue favours from Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi's government.
At a press conference earlier in the day, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) architect Modi ahead of the assembly polls in the state this month, alleging that the Chief Minister favoured Adani group by manipulating bids on power purchase and also bought peace with Congress and judiciary on the acts by doling out sops in forms of lands.
Refuting the allegations, Adani Group said, "The land for Special Economic Zone at Mundra was allotted following the process of law. The allegation related to coal supply by GMDC is baseless. Till date we have not received any coal from GMDC."
"These baseless allegations seem to be motivated and lack deeper understanding of the matter. They do not merit further response," it added in a statement.
"If Congress is Mukesh Ambani's dukaan [shop], then is Modi government Adani's dukaan [shop]?," asked Kejriwal saying that in 2007, Gujarat needed electricity and Modi government which was buying it from Adani on temporary basis at Rs 5.45 per unit, decided to enter into long term power purchase agreements, which would be cheaper, but finally got it at much higher price.
"It called for bids. The bids were manipulated to favour Adanis," he said, adding that Modi bough power paying more from Adanis and burdening the common people.
He said much of the documents with him were procured from Sanjiv Bhatt, the anti-Modi IPS officer whose wife Shweta Bhatt is now fighting polls against Modi on Congress ticket.
"Gujarat High Court passed a stinging order against Modi Government for brazenly manipulating the bidding process and for favoring Adanis. In February 2007, Gujarat government entered into two agreements with Adanis to supply electricity at Rs 2.35 and Rs 2.89 per unit respectively. Interestingly, two months before this, Gujarat Mineral Development Corporation (GMDC), which is Gujarat Government PSU, had offered to the Gujarat Government to supply electricity at the rate of Rs 2.25 per unit. This was much cheaper than what Adanis were offering," alleged Kejriwal.
He said GMDC had its own coal blocks and it had offered these coal blocks to KSK Energy Ventures Ltd, which in turn agreed to supply electricity cheaper at Rs 2.25 per unit.
"Rather than accept GMDC's offer to supply cheaper electricity, Modi government decided to purchase electricity at much higher rates from Adanis. Why did Modi do that? A few days after signing the agreement, Adani started blackmailing Gujarat government. They refused to supply electricity till they were supplied coal by Gujarat Government," he said.
"GMDC said they would be happy to supply coal if Adanis agreed to supply electricity at reduced rates of Rs 2.25 per unit, the rates at which KSK was supplying electricity, who was receiving coal from GMDC. Rather than reprimanding Adanis and cancelling their contract for this blackmail, Modi personally intervened. Mr Jose, the Chairman of GMDC was transferred out. GMDC was asked to supply 50pc of its coal from Naini block to Adani," claimed Kejriwal.
He said in effect, Adanis walked away with coal blocks without supplying the electricity at cheaper rates.
"Therefore, Modi's love for Adanis cost Gujarat people very dearly. All these years, the people of Gujarat were forced to pay much more for electricity. Finally, Gujarat government had to enter into power purchase agreements with other parties at much higher rates," he said, adding that Adanis were granted land at throwaway prices.