Panel cleared then Modi govt of graft charges: Gujarat Deputy CM

At least 50 members of the Congress were suspended from the Assembly for the rest of the day after they interrupted House proceedings over the issue.

By: Express News Service | Gandhinagar | Updated: March 24, 2017 5:18 am
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Hours after Opposition Congress members created ruckus in the Assembly over the Gujarat government not tabling the M B Shah Commission report in the House, Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel on Thursday said the panel had cleared the then Narendra Modi regime of corruption allegations. The report of the panel was submitted to the government in 2013. The M B Commission was formed on August 16, 2011, by the then Gujarat government under chief ministership of Narendra Modi after the Opposition Congress submitted a memorandum to the then President Pratibha Patil, alleging that the state government had indulged in large-scale corruption and favouritism to industrial houses. In the memorandum, Congress had made a total of 17 allegations.

At least 50 members of the Congress were suspended from the Assembly for the rest of the day after they interrupted House proceedings over the issue. The matter came up during the Question Hour when the Congress MLA from Palanpur, Mahesh Patel, sought to know from the government when would it table the Shah panel report in the House. Nitin Patel, however, began answering the question by talking about the 2001 earthquake, the 2002 riots and alleged attempts by Congress to destabilise the then BJP government. Congress members objected to it, saying that the Deputy CM must stick to the question, even as he tried to justify his statements.

Subsequently, Speaker Ramanlal Vora told Nitin Patel that he should reply to the question. In this context, the Speaker then gave a random example that the Deputy CM should not be talking on issues like allegations against Shankersinh Vaghela’s government in mid 1990s when the latter’s party Rashtriya Janata Party was running the Gujarat government with support of the Congress.

Amid all this, din in the House continued, following which the Speaker adjourned the proceedings for Question Hour.

When the Speaker called out the next matter of the House’s business of the day, Congress legislators started raising slogans against the BJP government and rushed to the Well of the House. Eventually, the Speaker suspended all the Congress legislators, who were protesting for the rest of the day. Congress leaders like Shankersinh Vaghela, Shaktisinh Gohil, Mohansinh Rathva and Anil Joshiyara, who were not protesting, walked out of the House.

Later, in the evening, Nitin Patel issued a press release, saying the Commission in its 21-volume report, running into 5,000 pages, had given a clean chit to the then Gujarat government. He also said that even a writ petition moved by former chief minister Suresh Mehta, demanding a direction to Gujarat government to present the report, was also dismissed by the Gujarat High Court. “The court had said that the state government will decide on whether to present the report or not,” said Patel said.

The M B Shah Commission was formed on August 16, 2011, by the then Gujarat government under chief ministership of Narendra Modi after the Opposition Congress submitted a memorandum to the then President Pratibha Patil, alleging that the state government had indulged in large-scale corruption and favouritism to industrial houses.

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