Gautam Adani, head of the Rs 45,000-crore ports-to-energy Adani Group, said on Monday that he got no special favours from the Gujarat government led by Narendra Modi.
This election season, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi and AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal have charged BJP's prime ministerial nominee Modi with favouring industrialists such as Adani by giving away agricultural land at low prices.
In two separate interviews to CNBC TV18 and CNN-IBN, Adani said while he did seek land, he had never sought any concession.
"We got land in Gujarat at about Rs15 per square meter. This was barren land where nothing could grow. In Congress-ruled Maharashtra, where we set up a 3,300 MW power project, we got land at a similar rate," he said.
He added Gandhi was misinformed, asserting no rule had been broken in the allotment of land.
"There is always an elaborate process for determining the price of land. It starts from the district level, then decisions are taken at the state level and then at the cabinet level. It is never done by an individual," Adani told CNBC TV18.
Reiterating that he got excellent support from every state, Adani added, "In Rajasthan, we set up a 1,300 MW power project and got excellent support from the Gehlot government (which was ousted recently by the BJP). So it is not that we are getting support only from BJP or Congress governments alone but from everywhere."
The group has projects in states like Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha and Haryana.
Adani denied that Modi was batting for him when he spoke of a so-called "Jayanti tax", a not-so-veiled allegation against then environment minister Jayanti Natarajan, who had denied the charge.
Asked on CNN-IBN to compare the performance of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Modi, he said Singh had done a good job during the UPA I, but had allowed things to drift over the last two or three years. "Modi will not allow such a thing to happen," he said.