<p>The Gujarat Congress on Tuesday alleged that the Narendra Modi government was trying to rig bidding process with regard to contracts for the Rs 13,000 crore gas pipeline projects of state run Gujarat State Petronet Limited (GSPL).
Leader of the opposition in the state Assembly, Shaktisinh Gohil, claimed that terms and conditions of the tenders for the pipelines and civil works contracts were being prepared in a manner that it would benefit one Kutch-based pipeline manufacturing firm.
He further alleged that all this was done by GSPL at the behest of Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi because the company in question has promised Rs 500 crore to the BJP party for the forthcoming assembly elections in December.
"Gujarat State Petroleum Corporation (GSPC) group company GSPL had bagged three cross-country gas pipeline projects which include Mehsana-Bhatinda (1,611 km); Bhatinda-Srinagar (740 km), and Mallavaram-Bhopal-Bhilwara-Vijaipur (1,738 km). These three projects are worth over Rs 13000 crore," Gohil said in a statement issued on Tuesday.
Execution of these pipeline projects are about to begin and the GSPL was preparing tender documents for contracts of the pipeline projects.
"It is learnt from insiders that tenders for pipelines and civil works are being prepared in such a manner, with certain conditions, that only a Kutch-based pipeline manufacturing firm gets selected as sole supplier of pipelines," Gohil claimed.
"This is aimed at thwarting competition and allow monopoly of a single firm, which would create cartels of its own contractors for civil works. This is being done at the behest of the Chief Minister because the firm concerned has reliably offered election funds of Rs 500 crore to the ruling party in the state assembly polls," the senior Congress leader alleged.
In this scam in the making, several high profile officials of the GSPL, GSPC, energy department and finance department are involved to carry out the deal as per instructions of CM, he added.
Gohil sought an explanation on the tendering process for the pipelines from Modi and asked, "Why no transparency in the bidding process and why open market competition is being thwarted to unduly favour one particular company, whose track record is highly dubious."
He further said that he would be writing to the CMDs of GSPL's joint venture partners in the pipeline project which include Indian Oil Corporation Ltd (IOCL), Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd (HPCL) and Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL) and expose the "the nefarious designs of the Modi government to unduly benefit one private industrial group at the cost of public exchequer".