Gujarat has become the land of mega scams. This handle has reported many scams about Vibrant Gujarat scam, Narmada water pipeline scam, cotton & groundnut procurement scam, GIFT City (Modi’s favourite project) scam. Now another mega scam is brewing which is being kept focrfully under wraps as it involves state’s top BJP leadership, IAS officers and businessmen. The nexus has been found involved in a land scam of monumental proportions in a solar project that the Govt has launched in Patan, North Gujarat.
The sordid corruption saga revolves around Bharat Giri Goswami who’s the mastermind behind this scam. Goswami is an interesting character. He was driver of BJP leader Liladhar Vaghela (Minister in Keshu bhai Patel’s Govt). Goswami’s next stop was IAS officer DJ Pandian as his driver. Pandian was Managing Director of Gujarat Petrochemicals. Goswami mostly ferried Pandian’s family. Pandian soon elevated Goswami in his PSU as an executive where he was promoted as project manager. Usually Govt drivers reach up to the level of clerks in Govt service. But, Goswami was blessed by Pandian. Goswami’s wealth started increasing rapidly. 3 bungalows in state capital Gandhinagar, partnership in city’s prime party plot and a luxurious farmhouse landed in his kitty.
An ordinary driver was amassing wealth but no eyebrows were raised.
From Gujarat Petrochemicals under Pandian’s umbrealla, Goswami was picked up by Health Minister Shankar Chaudhary and he was shifted to health department of Guj Govt where Chaudhary and Goswami’s nexus flourished.
The latest feather in Goswami’s cap is the mega solar park project launched by the Govt. Solar park needed 3000 acres of land. Prices of farming land in Patan, North Gujarat (proposed site of solar park) were between Rs 2.5 and 5 lakhs per acre. Goswami and BJP Ministers one after another started acquiring land from local farmers securing sale agreements giving them token money. Once most land was secured, the BJP Govt announced solar park project. Land acquisition programme was then launched. But land was not to be acquired from farmers. It was to be acquired from Goswami and BJP leaders’ henchmen. So the Govt paid them crores per acre from the state exchequer at taxpayers’ expense lining pockets of Bharat Giri Goswami, IAS officers and BJP ministers.
Eventually following a complaint about disproprtionate wealth amassed by a Govt employee, Anti Corruption Bureau started investigation against Bharat Giri Goswami. But then the alarmed Goswami threatened state BJP leaders that if anything happened to him, they too would be in trouble.
Usually nabbing police constables for a mere 500 or 1000 rupees bribe, ACB stopped investigations following instructions from Gandhinagar. ACB closed Goswami’s file marking it “Sensitive”.
Now the matter is in Gujarat High Court. If HC takes instructs CBI to investigate then many BJP leaders may find themselves in soup.