Infra projects granted to 'close friends' of BJP: Congress targets govt over CAG report

05:42 PM Sep 03, 2023 | PTI |

New Delhi: The Congress on Sunday targeted the Modi government over a recent CAG report on the Bharatmala project, alleging that infrastructure projects have been granted to ”close friends” and donors of the BJP and asserted that only a JPC probe can unravel the truth.


In a statement, Congress general secretary (communications) Jairam Ramesh said the Bharatmala Pariyojana is aimed at developing 35,000 km of national highways to make freight movement across the country more efficient.

”Yet, the most remarkable feature of the project has been the efficiency with which costs have been inflated and projects handed over to the Prime Minister’s close friends and his party’s electoral bond donors, as shown in a recent CAG report covering the period 2017-21,” he alleged.

The Congress leader said the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) awarded a 250 km four-lane project between Suryapet and Khammam in Telangana to a consortium in which Adani Transport was the dominant partner with a 74 per cent work share.

According to the CAG, he said Adani Transport “did not fulfil the condition of ‘Request for Proposal’ regarding experience of five years” building highways.


”Despite being completely unqualified to bid, Adani Transport once again benefited from Modi’s Magic. NHAI declared on 20th February, 2019 that Adani Transport was qualified to bid (without giving reasons) and awarded the project to the Adani-led consortium on 8th March, 2019 at a cost of Rs 1,566 crore,” he alleged.

Ramesh claimed that under the “hybrid annuity model” the Adani consortium received 40 per cent of the project amount as a direct cash subsidy, even though it was never actually qualified to bid. ”Other projects were awarded to one firm with strong BJP links and to four other firms that have been major donors to the BJP, as shown in the party’s own financial statements,” he alleged.

”This leads to many questions: Is there not a quid pro quo behind the award of these projects by the Modi government-controlled NHAI? Will the BJP release its entire list of donors in the last nine years?

”Is there no limit to the favouritism that the PM will bestow upon his close friends, colleagues and financiers when it comes to lucrative infrastructure contracts,” the Congress leader asked.

”Are Indian taxpayers’ funds simply meant to line the pockets of the PM and his friends,” he asked.

Ramesh alleged the CAG, whose reports the media once used to breathlessly report, has shed light on ”deep-seated corruption in the Modi government”.

”As we have repeatedly demanded, only a JPC (Joint Parliamentary Committee) probe can unravel the full extent of the Adani MegaScam in multiple sectors,” he said.


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