[dropcap]R[/dropcap]ecently, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his close aide and BJP President Amit Shah were giving chest-thumping speeches about having given India a corruption-free administration under their party rule. On the other hand, several BJP leaders were caught with huge cash in their car and house, buying benami properties and gold. How can we forget Eknath Khadse, one of the senior most ministers of Maharashtra was named in two serious charges. The first allegation on Khadse was that he received phone calls from fugitive Dawood Ibrahim’s house in Karachi, Pakistan and the second was that he had bought MIDC land in the names of his wife and son-in-law at throwaway rates by flouting norms. He also faced the heat when his PA allegedly demanded a bribe of Rs. 30 crore. These charges are related to national security, the mafia-politician nexus, corruption and conflict of interest. So far, no action has been taken against the tainted minister except his ministerial berth.
Several other prominent leaders have also faced various graft allegations. While Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s name cropped up in the Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) scam, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj faced the opposition’s heat in the Lalit Modi scandal. Even prominent chief ministers of the BJP attracted corruptions charges: Rajasthan CM Vasundhara Raje’s name also surfaced in the Lalit Modi and mining scams, Madhya Pradesh CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan was named in the DMAT and Vyapam scams, while the CM of his neighbouring state Chhattisgarh, Raman Singh, found himself in the middle of the PDS/NAN controversy. Anar Patel, the daughter of then Gujarat CM Anandiben Patel too was accused of acquiring land for resorts for her partners at discounted prices. So, Amit Shah’s claim falls flat. How can one forget that the BJP suspended its Darbhanga MP, Kirti Azad, when he made statements saying there was “corruption” in the DDCA when Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley was heading it?
Mahesh Shah, the Ahmedabad-based property dealer, who had declared a stunning Rs. 13,860 crore of unaccounted money under the Income Declaration Scheme (IDS) was detained by the Income Tax department and he threatened to reveal names of the leaders and bureaucrats to whom this money belong to. IT officials had recently carried out raids at Shah’s residence in Ahmedabad, his relative’s houses and the office and residence of the chartered accountancy firm that had made the IDS declaration on his behalf. In an interview to regional news channel ETV Gujarati, from whose news studio he was detained by the police on Saturday evening, Shah said that the income declared by him did not belong to him but he was dealing on behalf of some businessmen, politicians and government officials. Shah claimed in the interview that he was overcome by greed to earn some money by way of commission but he will now expose the true identity of the people behind this to the I-T officials. He also claimed that the ‘black money hoarders’ were from Gujarat and some other states. An I-T department official said that the department suspected Shah of money laundering and the searches were carried out in that connection. Shah said he would expose everybody before the IT officials while admitting that “it was his mistake to make disclosure of other people’s black money” but also said it was a compulsion.
In another case, police have reportedly seized Rs. 91.5 lakh in cash from a vehicle belonging to Solapur-based Lok Mangal group, which is controlled by BJP leader and Maharashtra Co-operation Minister Subhash Deshmukh. The cash was seized during a routine check of vehicles by a flying squad, which is carrying out such raids ahead of the municipal council polls.
In Lucknow, cash amounting to Rs. 3 crore was recovered from the car of a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader in Ghaziabad. The Maruti Swift model car was intercepted at Indirapuram when the driver tried to break through a police barricade. The police personnel on the spot chased the car and on checking found the cash in the boot. The car is registered in the name of Ajeet Mishra of Gurgaon and two persons, Siddhartha Shukla and Anoop Agarwal, were travelling in it at the time of the cash recovery. The two said the money belonged to them and that they were taking it for depositing in the party fund in Lucknow.
In Tamil Nadu, Rs. 20 lakh were seized from BJP youth leader who backed demonetisation. However, BJP state president Tamilisai Soundararajan said the party has removed Arun from the organisational responsibilities. According to the police, there were 926 notes of Rs. 2,000 denomination in the seized cash. The I-T Department is now probing the role of bank officials who sourced Rs. 2000 currency notes.
Above are just few examples of Modi government’s achievements and corruption indulged by its leaders. Still, Shah and Modi turned blind eye on the on-going scams by their own leaders and are boasting non-stop about corruption free India. I hope people will make them open their eyes in the forthcoming assembly elections.
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