INVESTIGATIVE WEBSITE DETAILS EXCHANGE OF TEXT MESSAGES, EMAILS BETWEEN GUJARAT CM AND WOMAN SPIED ON BY STATE ADMINSTRATION
By Ashish Khetan
NEW DELHI, Nov 30 — Gulail has accessed about a dozen pictures of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi present at the first edition of Kutch Sharad Utsav in October 2005. In one of the pictures Modi could be seen engaged in an animated conversation with IAS Officer Pradeep Sharma and the woman architect from Bangalore whom Gulail had renamed Madhuri to protect her identity when it had released hundreds of telephonic conversations between Amit Shah and former IPS officer G L Singhal.
These pictures raise a serious question mark about the credibility of the explanation put forth both by Madhuri’s father Premlal Soni and the BJP that only Premalal was known to Modi and it was he who had requested the CM to ‘take care’ of his daughter in 2009 when the illegal snooping operation was mounted.
The pictures show that Modi knew Madhuri for at least five years before his state machinery mounted an illegal round the clock vigil on the young woman in August 2009. It also confirms that part of the affidavit filed by Sharma in the Supreme Court in which he had alleged that Madhuri had visited Modi when he came to inaugurate the ‘Sharad Utsav’ in October 2005. Sharma served as the collector of Kachchh district between 2003 and 2005.
This is an excerpt from Sharma’s first affidavit filed in the Supreme Court in May, 2011. “The Chief Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, visited Kachchh to inaugurate the hill garden project upon its completion, and was at this time introduced to Ms. Soni. Shri Modi invited Ms. Soni to email any other suggestions she might have, giving Ms. Soni his personal email address. Ms. Soni subsequently wrote to Shri Modi thanking him for the visit to hill garden. A series of emails were exchanged until Sharad Utsav in October 2005. Ms. Soni communicated to the Petitioner her decision to return to Bangalore, even her ongoing interaction with the Chief Minister.
At this time, Ms. Soni had approached the Collectorate to participate in the event and had been assigned a role of organizing the reception of guests; she was provided the appropriate monetary fees in exchange for her services. Concurrently, Shri Modi and Ms. Soni had begun to exchange text messages (SMS), which she communicated to the Petitioner. She further mentioned that she was planning to meet the Chief Minister.
Skeptical of her claims, and under the impression that Ms. Soni was prevaricating to embellish her stature, the Petitioner suggested to Ms. Soni that she contact the Chief Minister’s security in this regard. That the following morning at the site of Sharad Utsav at approximately 7:00 AM, the Petitioner was in the presence of Shri Modi when Ms. Soni arrived and the conversation between them assured the Petitioner that Shri Modi and Ms. Madhuri Soni were in fact exchanging personal text messages, e-mails, and/or direct conversations.”
The latest pictures accessed by Gulail confirm the fact that Modi had inaugurated the festival in 2005 and during his stay there he had met Madhuri. Modi flew from Ahmedabad to Bhuj in the first week of October 2005 to inaugurate the three-day long festival which was organized to promote tourism. Special tents were perched in the middle of the desert for the ceremony.
Modi spent a night in one of the tents before flying back the next morning. It was just before he left the site that Madhuri paid a visit to Modi. When contacted Sharma told Gulail, “On the previous night she informed me that the CM had asked her to come in the morning. I told her I don’t think that CM would be meeting anyone and I doubt that you would be able to enter the security cordon. But lo and behold, the next morning she arrived and from the conversation between Modi and her it appeared that the CM was expecting her. “
When he saw her he said, “Tum to Bangalore jaane walitheen? (you were supposed to leave for Bangalore? What happened? ”
According to Sharma Madhuri was also present in one of the tents on the night Modi was there. Madhuri worked as a guest coordinator during the festival. The festival was organized by a private trust at a budget of about Rs 1 crore.
*Ashish Khetan is a renowned Indian investigative journalist and Editor of Ghulail.com where this first appeared