Two years ago, Gujarat’s energey and petroleum minister Saurabh Patel was slapped with an EC notice asking to explain about his links with Reliance and its owners Ambani family.
Responding to the Election Commission, Patel had said, “In my letter, I have clearly informed the EC that I am married to the daughter of Dhirubhai Ambani’s elder brother. That was 25 years ago and that’s what I have said.”
During his visit to Gujarat, the Aam Aadmi Party leader and now Delhi chief minister, Arvind Kejriwal, had alleged that Patel was allocated important portfolios of Petroleum, Petrochemicals, Energy and Industries because of his family relations with the Ambani family.
Activists in Ahmedabad now claim to have stumbled upon evidence, which they say will place the minister in a spot of considerable bother.
Patel is now being accused of having lied on oath while making declarations about his conflict of interests before and after taking up the key ministry in the Gujarat government.
Patel, who also hold the finance ministry in Anandiben Patels’ cabinet, allegedly concealed his position as director in two companies U40108GJ1994PTC021688 TRADEX POLYMERS PVT LTD 30/03/1994 – and U45201GJ2009PTC058455 SOLITAIRE REALTY PRIVATE LIMITED 28/10/2009 while submitting his election affidavit in 2012 assembly elections.
Demanding a thorough investigation against what should be deemed as a serious crime, activist Roshan Shah recently wrote the Gujarat’s chief electoral officer.
The chief electoral officer, in his reply, informed Shah that the matter had been transferred to ‘concerned department’ for appropriate action.
Patel is also alleged to have stated inaccurate information while declaring his name in the election affidavit.
Shah said that while every government documents including PAN card and ministry of corporate affairs had the Gujarat minister’s surname as Dalal, his election affidavit had described his surname as ‘Dalal Patel.’
He said, “It is evident from these proofs that he (Patel) is carrying a dual identity and holding key position as a minister and this is nothing but a fraud. Didn’t returning officer in his 2012 affidavit validate his PAN card and find this discrepancy and disqualify him?”
Shah said that he was pained that under the current system the election commission expected an ordinary citizen to file an FIR if an elected representative was suspected to have committed deception in his or her affidavits.
He said, “If election commission starts doing detailed scrutiny and by bringing amendment to file FIR at their end via returning officer, a large number of MPs and MLAs would be disqualified just on the basis of prima facie evidence looking at affidavit vs records available.”
Shah said that Gujarat had become a breeding ground for fake affidavits.
He said, “After Smriti Irani, Narendra Modi, Shankar Chaudhary, Anandiben Patel, we now have the Ambani relative, Saurabh Dalal joining the infamous gang. Gujarat Model of concealing and/or making fake affidavits is truly booming.”
We made several attempts to contact Patel for his reaction but did not succeed. We will carry his version as and when we get them.