Modi threatening industrialists to cough up funds: Modhwadia

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Ahmedabad, Oct 30 (UNI) Leader of the Opposition and senior Congress leader Arjun Modhwadia today said he had informed the Chief Election Commissioner N Gopalaswamy about Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, allegedly threatening industrialists to cough funds for the Gujarat assembly elections, scheduled for December.

''We have represented to the Chief Election Commissioner about Chief Minister Narendra Modi threatening industrialists to cough funds for assembly elections,''Mr Modhwadia said while addressing mediapersons here.

The Chief Minister has already given concessions of Rs 15,000 crore to his five millionaire friends by increasing the state's debt burden by Rs 90,000 crore, he alleged.

''We have requested the Election Commissioner to monitor the collection of election funds and its expenditure by the BJP and Chief Minister through a private monitoring agency. Our request is that 'money and muscle' power be used minimally in the elections,'' Mr Modhwadia said.

Condemning the bullying tactics adopted by the Chief Minister against industrialists and businessmen, he alleged that Mr Modi had been acting as representative of only five 'crorepati' industrialists during his six years of rule, though he is a public representative.

And for the cabal of five 'crorepatis', the Chief Minister had drained Rs 15,000 crore from the public exchequer by giving concessions in sales tax and has also given five lakh acres of land at throwaway price to them, he said.

As a quid pro quo, Mr Modi was utilising helicopters and modern aircraft of these industrialists which are kept at standby for his personal comfort and luxury, Mr Modhwadia charged.

Immediately after the declaration of elections, Mr Modi and his party have adopted a novel method of fund collection under the guise of ''election fund''. The novelty of the approach is that there is no scope for donating a 'peti' and even the word 'khokha' has been proscribed (underground slang for 'peti' means one lakhs rupees and a 'khokha' one crore rupees), he said.

The industrialists are called up and told to contribute huge amounts which runs into more than what 'khokhas' really mean in the name of election funds, he added.

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