Modi sold land to industrialists for vested interests, alleges Modhwadia

     Gujarat state Congress president Arjun Modhwadia has accused Chief Minister Narendra Modi of granting land to private industrialists for his vested interests. "Land in the state was given to industrialists at meagre prices while it was given at higher rates to the military and governmental organizations," said Modhwadia. "The Justice (retd) Shah commission has not been able to justify this discrepancy. We have always been saying that this Commission is in place to safeguard the interests of Narendra Modi. That is why we boycotted the Commission," Modhwadia added.

Meanwhile, Election Commission's Director General Akshay Raut mentioned that the Parliament is required to endorse and enact certain electoral reforms, including the misuse of paid news as part of campaign by the contesting parties and leaders. He said there already exist certain relevant provisions, which need to be ratified by the Indian Parliament. " We have mentioned to the government and Parliament that paid news should be taken as an electoral offence, it should be translated into two years of imprisonment. That the (Election) Commission cannot do today because these are all existing today as part of the law today," he said. He said that the matter is now pending there with the government and Parliament as an electoral reform proposal. The Commission has clearly written and sent this proposal and the Commission is hopeful electoral reforms will happen sooner or later, he added.

The first phase of the Gujarat assembly polls will be held on December 13, while the second will take place on December 17. Counting of votes will take place on December 20. More than 35,000 personnel from paramilitary forces and around 55,000 from state police are likely to be deployed for the Gujarat polls. Gujarat has 182 assembly constituencies, 13 of which are reserved for SCs and 26 for STs with 3.78 crore voters who would be eligible to exercise their franchise in the state.

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