Two senior ministers of Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi are facing serious corruption charges.
Dilip Sanghani, agriculture and co-operative department minister, is facing charges of grabbing government land in his constituency, Amreli. Junior fisheries minister Purushottam Solanki is allegedly involved in a Rs 400 crore scam in awarding state fisheries contracts.
Already facing revolt from arch-rival Keshubhai Patel, the charges might hit Modi’s Mr Clean image ahead of the December assembly elections.
On Friday, a court in Amreli ordered a probe against Sanghani after local activist Nathalal Sukhadia was attacked on June 24, allegedly at the behest of the minister.
“Sanghani, his family and aides are involved in scams worth R500 crore,” said Sukhadia, who filed a number of RTI applications seeking details of their assets.
The police inspector who mentioned Sanghani’s name in the FIR, RP Mirza, was transferred to scuttle the probe, Sukhadia said. “Now the court has directed the police to file a report within 15 days.”
On his part, Solanki gave away fishing contracts for 58 reservoirs in the state at rates far below the price fixed. Bids worth Rs 40 crore per annum were awarded for a pittance of Rs 2.36 crore.
In March, the Gujarat HC had asked the state to decide on his prosecution within three months, failing which the governor was to act independently on the matter. Last week, the council of ministers refused sanction to prosecute him.
“We will have to approach the court with a contempt petition,” said Mukul Sinha, counsel for petitioner Ishaq Maradia. A senior cabinet minister said action against Solanki could prove costly for the party.