Friday, December 10, 2010

Should we not ask politicians how they made their millions?

One of the reasons that the central government yesterday gave in the Supreme Court for tapping Niira Radia's phone was that she had put together a business empire of Rs.300 crore in the suspiciously short period of nine years. Radia's business success pales into insignificance when compared to that of Jaganmohan Reddy, whose father Y.S. Rajasekhar Reddy was chief minister of Andhra Pradesh for little over five years from May 2004 to his death in early September 2009. Jaganmohan had declared a net worth of less than Rs.10 lac before the May 2004 election and in just years his businesses have blossomed so much that for the financial year 2010-11 he has projected his income at Rs.500 crore. He has already paid an advance tax of Rs.84 crore for the first six months of the financial year. Will the central government and the prime minister care to tell their real masters, the people of India, what sort of investigation or phone tapping they had ordered into extraordinary wealth, many times bigger than Radia's, collected by Jaganmohan in only six years as against hers in nine years?

Left to the central or state governments these inconvenient questions will never be asked and the people will have to take this responsibility upon themselves. We should ask Mayawati, Mulayam Singh Yadav, Karunanidhi, Jayalalithaa, the Abdullahs, Rahul Mahajan, Prakash Singh Badal and others of their ilk who are super, super rich today how they accumulated their wealth particularly when they had been in politics all their lives, Jayalalithaa being the only exception, which is officially not a money spinning profession.

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