The timing of a deed is always interesting. It exposes the design and motive of the people involved in a deed.
So two days before Gujarat goes to polls, one ‘great’ writer, Subir Ghosh, who is a great friend of another ‘great’ writer Pranjoy Guha Thakurta, would release his masterpiece of investigative journalism – a book titled ‘Grand Illusion: The GSPC Disaster and the Gujarat Model’. And lo and behold, what’s the venue? The Seminar Hall of Ahmedabad Management Association at Vastrapur (Ahmedabad).
Really, some people have grand illusions about themselves! And never mind the grand disaster they cause to their own credibility and the credibility of a noble profession like journalism.
Indianmandarins has reliably learnt that the event is designed to create a high-octane discussion on select senior bureaucrats who reportedly worked as the force behind the merger of Gujarat State Petroleum Corporation Limited (GSPC) with ONGC despite adverse comments from CAG and many senior bureaucrats. It is claimed that the GSPC annual report, too, has adverse references to the deal.
It is stated that the MD of GSPC between 2014 and 2016 proposed the transfer of GSPC assets worth Rs 20,000 crores (KG Deendayal Block and the whole asset) to the ONGC at throwaway prices of Rs 8,000 crores. Although the DGH vetted the transaction, it is alleged that the deal was designed and orchestrated to hide the scams worth Rs thousands of crores.
It is alleged that the GSPC assets were neither evaluated properly nor was there a national bidding. Allegedly, a Joint Secretary in the ministry of P&NG who had objected to the transaction was laterally shifted and sidelined.
Though the opposition has been trying to corner the PMO on the issue, the critical point is why the GSPC board not objected to the deal.