Gujarat trashes corruption charges against Modi

State govt tables Shah panel report 4 yrs after submission

Gujarat trashes corruption charges against Modi
The Gujarat government on Friday tabled the report of the Justice M B Shah Commission set up to probe allegations of corruption against the Narendra Modi government in the state, four years after it was submitted. Tabling the 5,500-page, 22-volume report in the House, Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel said the government had nothing to hide.

“As we have been saying for long, the report has found no credible evidence of any wrongdoing by the erstwhile Narendra Modi government as was alleged by the Congress,” he said. In 2011, the Congress had prepared a docket of over 1,000 pages listing a series of corruption allegations against the then state government and submitted it as a memorandum to the President.

After this, the then chief minister Modi set up a judicial probe headed by former Supreme Court judge Justice M B Shah to look into 14 different issues highlighted by the Congress. In its interim report submitted in 2012, the Shah panel gave the Modi government a prima facie clean chit. It submitted its final report in 2013. The Congress had been demanding the tabling of the report in the House since then, at times disrupting the functioning of the Assembly. However, the ruling BJP government in the state chose to table it on the last day of this Budget session.

The key issues probed by the Shah panel include allocation of land at concessional rates to corporates like L&T, Essar, RIL and Adani Group, a financial package for setting up of Nano plant by Tata Motors and the use of private jets and helicopters by Modi. A preliminary look at the report shows that the state government had merely followed the set procedure in most cases or there were technical errors in some other cases.

Reacting to the report tabled by the Vijay Rupani government, Congress leader Shaktisinh Gohil questioned the delay. “As per the law, they should have tabled the commission report immediately and not wait for five years. I suspect that they were trying to do window dressing or manage some findings of the report. The report has not given a clean chit as claimed by the state government but pointed at technicalities,” he said.

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