Modi influences the foreign governments blatantly to get business for his corporate friends.
By Rakesh Raman
While the prime minister (PM) of India Narendra Modi is allegedly involved in massive corruption cases, new reports suggest that Modi acted unscrupulously to get a business contract for an Indian company.
Reports indicate that Modi – in collusion with the Sri Lanka government – got an energy project in Mannar district for the Indian industrialist Gautam Adani’s group, as Adani is a close capitalist friend of Modi.
According to an NDTV report of June 16, the citizens held a protest in Sri Lanka’s biggest city Colombo against the alleged favouring of the Adani Group. The locals complained that the Adani Group got the project as part of a “dubious” deal between Modi and Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa.
It is alleged that the Sri Lanka Parliament passed an amendment to the Electricity Act to facilitate the Adani deal without any bidding in the 500-megawatt solar and wind energy project.
The NDTV report adds that the controversy began when MMC Ferdinando, chairman of Sri Lanka’s Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB), told a parliamentary panel that he was told by President Rajapaksa about PM Modi pressuring him to give the wind power project directly to the Adani Group.
As President Rajapaksa denied the claim, Ferdinando retracted his statement and resigned on June 13. It is believed that Ferdinando was asked to resign in order to brush the corruption controversy under the carpet.
A Business Standard report of June 14 states that Ferdinando, during a hearing of the Committee On Public Enterprises (COPE), said that President Rajapaksa had summoned him after a meeting in November last year and told him that the wind power project be awarded to the Adani Group of India’s billionaire Gautam Adani as PM Modi had urged him to do so. [ You can click here to watch a related video. ]
Prashant Bhushan, a leading public interest lawyer and anti-corruption activist in India, tweeted on June 15, “So the Chairman of the Sri Lankan electricity authority tells their enquiry commission that the Sri Lankan President told him that India’s Modani (Modi+Adani) govt was insisting that Adani be given the 5K Cr (Rs. 5000-crore) project. This in itself is a bigger scam than Bofors.” With the hashtag #ModiMustResign (Modi Must Resign), Prashant Bhushan also shared a video of Ferdinando’s official statement.
So the Chairman of the Sri Lankan electricity authority tells their enquiry commission that the Sri Lankan President told him that India’s Modani govt was insisting that Adani be given the 5K Cr project.
This in itself is a bigger scam than Bofors. #ModiMustResign pic.twitter.com/zao4s7F9fb
— Prashant Bhushan (@pbhushan1) June 15, 2022
The NDTV report claims that a letter exclusively accessed by NDTV suggests that Ferdinando, while asking the Lankan Finance Ministry to fast-track approvals to the project, cited “directions by the (Lankan) Prime Minister” to recognise the Adani Group proposal as one from the Indian government to the Lankan government.
Although, as usual, the Modi government is silent on the issue, the Adani Group has reportedly said it is “disappointed” by the controversy.
Meanwhile, it is reported that Ferdinando has been summoned today (June 23) to appear at the COPE hearing where he must take an oath before making the statements.
CORRUPTION IN MODI GOVERNMENT
As Modi influences the foreign governments blatantly to get business for his corporate friends, it is largely believed that he goes to different countries frequently as a sales agent of corporates who contribute money to help him win elections fraudulently.
For example, it is alleged that the decision to purchase 36 Rafale aircraft from Dassault Aviation was taken arbitrarily by Modi when he was touring France. It is said that the Rafale deal aimed to give undue monetary benefit to Modi’s close associate Anil Ambani.
Since rampant bureaucratic and political corruption is happening in the Modi government, the U.S. Department of State in its annual country reports released in April 2022 has reported extreme corruption in India.
In an exclusive section, “Corruption and Lack of Transparency in Government,” the U.S. report asserts that the law provides criminal penalties for corruption by officials at all levels of government in India. However, officials frequently engage in corrupt practices with impunity while there were numerous reports of government corruption during the year.
But as the PM of India, Modi has done nothing to stop corruption and he has done everything to encourage corruption. In fact, Modi himself is embroiled in a number of corruption cases.
Apart from bureaucratic and political corruption, there are also reports of judicial corruption under Modi’s regime, and corruption is the main cause of socio-economic meltdown and increasing unrest in India.
The opposition political parties do not raise the issue of corruption by Modi and his government because most opposition leaders are themselves extremely corrupt and they fear that Modi will use government agencies to retaliate.
All the anti-corruption agencies of India – such as the Lokpal, Central Vigilance Commission (CVC), Lokayuktas, Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), Economic Offences Wings (EOWs) of Police, state police departments, and also the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) as well as the Cabinet Secretariat – are working hand in glove with the corrupt government functionaries. They hardly prosecute and punish corrupt bureaucrats and government politicians. That is why corruption is increasing rapidly in all parts of the country.
Since the Indian courts are complicit in most state crimes, they do not take any action against the corruption of Modi and his colleagues in the government. Similarly, the corrupt foreign governments collude with Modi for their commercial interests and turn a blind eye to Modi’s corruption.
Therefore, the Sri Lankan case in which Modi is allegedly involved will soon be brushed under the carpet and Modi will not face any legal consequences.
By Rakesh Raman, who is a national award-winning journalist and social activist. He is the founder of a humanitarian organization RMN Foundation which is working in diverse areas to help the disadvantaged and distressed people in the society.
He has also launched the “Power Play: Lok Sabha Election 2024 in India” editorial section to cover the news, events, and other developments related to the 2024 election.
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