The Congress on Friday accused Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi of having a “close” relationship with the woman his government had allegedly put under illegal surveillance and claimed the “snooping” was done after he developed a suspicion about her “relationship” with a senior IAS officer.
In an attempt to keep the controversy alive, the Congress fielded its senior Gujarat leader and former Leader of Opposition Shaktisinh Gohil, who launched a personal attack on BJP’s PM candidate. He demanded that Modi resign as CM on moral grounds.
“I have documents accessed through the RTI. It shows public money was spent on a CM’s friend to recharge a phone and fill up petrol. The CM had doodh pauva (a Gujarati sweet dish) with that person, the bill for which was Rs 12,500,” he said. He said the RTI reply was about the expenses incurred during the Runn Utsav in Kutch during 2004-05. Asked whether he was referring to the same woman, he said, “Yes, the same woman who was snooped upon.”
“I am not releasing the documents today because her name is on it and I don’t want to reveal the identity of the woman,” he said. “Let him (Modi) say no and I will then give the details.”
“The CM had a close relationship with her. Trouble started after a suspicion arose over her relationship with an IAS officer. After that, the snooping began,” he said. He didn’t reveal who filed the RTI, nor released copies of the reply.
Gohil said a “compromise” was worked out later. He claimed that a “big project in Gandhinagar running into crores” was allotted to a company, whose “founder and promoter was the madam who was being snooped on.” He said her two brothers are directors in the company which he identified as Equilibrium Energy Company. “Ninety-six per cent of the shares of the company are with her brothers,” he said. He claimed the firm got the contract in 2010. He demanded the resignation of Modi on moral grounds and argued the offence was “non-compoundable” for which no compromise is allowed between the accused and the victim under law.
The BJP denied the charges with former party chief Venkaiah Naidu saying that solar energy project was a Central government-funded project and the Modi government has not made payments as alleged. “Not a single penny worth of contract was awarded by the government of Gujarat