Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Politics as a magical wand

Under the heading ‘JAGAN’S COMPANY AFFAIRS’, today’s Times of India (New Delhi edition) writes that in 2004 Jaganmohan Reddy had declared his total assets worth Rs.9.19 lac but for the first half of the current financial year, 2010-11, he has paid an advance tax of Rs.84 crore on a projected income of Rs.500 crore for the full year; then the news item goes on to give out details of his stakes in various companies. For having a net annual income of Rs.500 crore it is reasonable to assume that his present net assets would amount to at least Rs.3,000 crore. If it be so, it would mean that his net assets went up to more than 30,000 times in a mere six and a half years. This type of asset growth in such a short period was not achieved even by Dhirubhai Ambani’s history-making Reliance Industries.

Of these six and a half years Jagan’s father, late Y.S. Rajsekhara Reddy, was the chief minister of Andhra Pradesh for about five years and four months, from May 2004 to his untimely death in a helicopter crash in September 2009. Jagan was already in the business of mining, cement, power, etc. when his father first became chief minister but his phenomenal rise, nearly all of it in his father's reign, perhaps could be explained by the extra-ordinary powers enjoyed by YSR not only as the chief minister of a major state but as the Congress' plenipotentiary in the south.

Most Indians have been feudal in their outlook and are not known to be in the habit of asking their masters the source of their out-of-this-world riches but the others who are not, should not keep quiet. They should ask Jagan and his counterparts in the Bharatiya Janata Party, the Reddy brothers of Karnataka, such inconvenient questions and also compel the central government to act, for a change, to uphold the law of the land.

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