Top 10 Politicians Who Went To Jail In India Recently
The dust is yet to settle after the much famed movement where Anna Hazare and his civic society successfully strong armed the government into drafting a Lokpal bill on its terms and the media is already back to its glorious ways of interviewing the likes of Digvijay Singh. As if it weren’t difficult for the sane amongst us to digest how this man has come to become the General Secretary of our country’s oldest political party.
I do not have any personal vendetta against that man. In fact, pointing him out like I did is unfair considering that majority of those who occupy high positions in our democratic machinery are characterized by shocking demeanor and severe lack of intelligence. The political outlook is so bad that you would be pardoned to think the country has gone to the proverbial dogs.
We all know of the doom theory which slates our judicial system, the Police, the EC, the Bureaucracy and what not, all the while making Pakistan seem like utopia to those who do not know otherwise. I am exaggerating to make an impact, but I sincerely hope but you get the point. THINGS CAN BE MUCH WORSE!
On that hopeful note, let us examine the Top 10 Politicos who are in prisons for doing what most politicians do and usually get away with. To have a judicial system is not pointless after all.
Intezar Ahmad Abidi
Intezar Ahmad Abidi is a member of her Lordship Mayawatis cabinet (you know her don’t you? Its blasphemy if you don’t). He is someone that epitomizes the BSP government functioning in Uttar Pradesh. …. (Pausing for a movement expecting a lightning to strike me, No one dare criticize her highness and her government) … looks like my lucky day. Sorry to go off tangent like that, but you can never be too careful these days. Coming back to Ahmad Abidi, he has at least four murder cases registered against him, along with charges of extortion and arson, famously torching the house of Uttar Pradesh state congress chief. Yeah , quiet a statement I first thought. But when we have a state government which extends hospitability to thugs, as the people of Uttar Pradesh have found out, civility comes at a premium. Mr. Abidi however was arrested 19th June 2011 in connection with the murder Saifer Haider Naqvi, Deputy Inspector General of Police, Lucknow. The gunmen confessing to have killed the DIG at Abidi’s behest. I am guessing it won’t be too long before he is out. Nevertheless, he makes the Top 10.
Susanta Ghosh is a former CPI(M) minister from West Bengal. He is the case of a CPI cadre loosing the plot in the name of grass root mobilization. Personally I have had an admiration to the CPI cadre and their ability to reach the masses. But that is where the admiration stops. In 2002, seven Trinamool Congress workers were abducted by CPI(M) cadre after a meeting at Piyasala village. CID investigation followed and years later when all possibilities of progress in the case were bleak, on June 2nd 2011, seven skeletons were dug up from near Ghosh’s ancestral house at Benachapra in the Garbeta police station area in West Midnapore district. DNA of two out of seven skeletons dug up from near the former minister’s residence matched those of the two missing Trinamool Congress supporters, Ajoy Acharya and Raju Sinha. Susanta Ghosh was arrested in August 2011 along with two other CPI(M) leaders Gunadhar Rana and Sheikh Saiful.
R. Balakrishna Pillai
R. Balakrishna Pillai is a political veteran. He is a former minister of state in Kerala having held portfolios like transport and electricity. He even has a biography written about him with a foreword by Padmashri Dr. Sooranad Kunjan Pillai. When you have been in politics for as long as Mr. Pillai has been, you are bound to have a few skeletons (ask Susanta Ghosh) in your closet and Pillai. He was convicted in March 2011 by the supreme court on charges of corruption in a case going back 30 years! He was sent to Poojapura Central prison, Thiruvananthapuram. The past coming back to do what I ask?
Katta Subramanya Naidu
This former Karnataka BJP minister of Information Technology was arrested on August 8 2011, along with his son Katta Jagadish for taking kickbacks to allot 325 acres of land near Bangalore to ITASCA, an arduously named software company. Katta was one of the first high profile scalps of the Karnataka Lokayukta who have been ever so tireless in the state. He is currently lodged in Parappana Agrahara Central Jail and has been complaining of pain in his joints, neck, back and stomach coupling with severe diabetes and hypertension. Last heard, he was insisting on surgery for his bad neck to get few more months of hospital time. Endure prosperity with greater self control and adversity with greater fortitude, if only you understood this Mr. Katta.
Gali Janardhana Reddy
Gali Janardhana Reddy is a former Karnataka BJP minister of Tourism and Infrastructure Development. Anyone who has followed Karnataka Politics even half heartedly will have heard of the name “Reddy brothers”. Janardhana Reddy is one of the three cogs in wheel of that infamy. The other cogs, Gali Karunakara Reddy and Gali Somashekara Reddy, I am sure will join a list such as this someday. Mr. Reddy’s is not a simple rags to riches story, it is more rags to ostentacity.Making his fortune by plundering the iron ore rich districts of Bellary and Ananthpur and setting up a risk free business model of mining franchises (GENIUS), Mr. Reddy could easily pass off as a case study in the leading B-schools of this country. He was named as one of the prime benefactors in the illegal mining report submitted by Karnataka Lokayukta this July. Needless to say, no action was taken against him by the present Karnataka BJP government. However it seems Goddess Fortuna had other plans for Mr. Reddy. He was arrested by the CBI on September 5th 2011 over a case of graft registered in Andhra Pradesh and is currently being held in Chanchalguda jail in Hyderabad.
Madhu Koda is a former chief minister of Jharkhand. He was the fifth Chief Minister of the state, holding on to the chair from 2006 to 2008 after a series of ‘I support-I do not support’ acts finally toppled the previous cabinet, making him only the third Independent legislator to become a chief minister. Commendable indeed! But then, Koda was no saint as you might have already guessed. In October 2009, he was charged with money laundering and illegal mining. The IT department subsequently uncovered 4000 crore in illegal assets. It was found that the Maoists had received a 30% share of the loot. Hotels and companies belonging to Koda were seized in Mumbai and Kolkata. There were reports of presence of coal mine in Liberia belonging to Koda. Several investigation agencies began their questioning and Koda was arrested in November 2009 and sent to the Chaibasa Central Jail. He was transferred to the high profile Tihar Jail in July 2011 presumably to attend the monsoon session of the Parliament.
Amar Singh was a prominent leader of the Samajawadi party in Uttar Pradesh and also a Member of the Rajya Sabha. He was expelled from the party in February 2010 for gaining wide unpopularity after tainting his name in several scandals. It is kind of hard to believe that an Indian Politician was expelled for such a reason and I have decided to add his expulsion into my satirical list named ‘Great mysteries of our times’. Things were only beginning to get bad for Mr. Singh though. Once being heralded as Prime Minister material , gaining a lot of face-time in prime time television and successfully convincing the world of being close buddies with Amitabh Bachchan(Remember him gifting a Bentley to Amitabh’s son?, what his name, that fellow who calls himself an actor … oh yes, Abishek!), Mr. Singh was charge sheeted for offering bribes to three parliament members of the BJP in 2008 under the Prevention of Corruption Act by the Delhi Police on 24 August, 2011 and subsequently sent to Judicial custody in Tihar.
Kanimozhi is the daughter of the former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu Karunanidhi. Apart from being a poet and a journalist, the resourceful Kanimozhi found time for politics. She is a member of the Rajya Sabha representing Tamil Nadu and she also is the chief of the DMK’s wing for Art, Literature and Rationalism. Rationalize the following Madam Kanimozhi. It all began with the publishing of the Niira Radia tapes (I remember an enthusiastic friend sending me these and asking me to listen to them right away. Little did I see the David and Goliath allegory), in which Kani is heard lobbying with Niira Radia on behalf of A. Raja. I reckon Sonia Gandhi had decided it is high time DMK is shown its place after all these years of strong arming the central alliances for important portfolios. Series of raids and questionings followed. First it was the IT raid on an NGO in which Kani is the Director. Next it was the CBI investigating the cash flow of 200 crores between Shahid Balwa’s DB Realty firm and Kalaignar TV, partially owned by Kani. She was also charge sheeted as the co-conspirator in the 2G spectrum scandal. On May 20, 2011, the special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court in New Delhi ordered the arrest of Kanimozhi along with Kalaignar TV CEO Sharad Kumar after rejecting their bail pleas. Kanimozhi was arrested and sent to Tihar Jail.
A. Raja, as he more famously known, is a lawyer turned DMK politician from Tamil Nadu. What you may not about Raja is that he was a cabinet minister in the NDA government in 1999 at the age of 35, thereon, holding several major portfolios in the NDA and UPA alliances. Raja came to the limelight (criticism some may choose to call it) in 2007 when sections of the media made a fuss over allocating licenses for 2G bandwidth in 2007 to new player. As it turned out, that was not all. Long story short, Raja is alleged to have conveniently given licenses to new players at lower prices .Funnily enough nobody had a whiff until two of the new operators decided to sell a part of their equity at higher premiums to pocket lusty profits. Treachery, said the media sensing new material to feed off for months and they had hit the jackpot. Investigations by various agencies put the loss to public exchequer at 1.4 lakh crores. In 2011, the results of an investigation by retired judge Shivraj Patil, who was appointed by current telecom minister Kapil Sibal, has also found Raja to have been directly responsible for “procedural lapses” regarding the spectrum scandal. The CBI and Enforcement Directorate estimate that Raja could have made as much as Rs 3,000 crore from the alleged bribes. Raja and two former associates were arrested on February 2, 2011. Since then Raja has been spending his time in Tihar. In the same year, TIME magazine listed Mr. Raja’s 2G spectrum scam as number two on their “Top 10 Abuses of Power” list. In case you did not know, Mr. Raja is being targeted because he was a dalit. As Cicero said – Oh, what times! Oh, what standards!
Suresh Kalmadi is a senior sports administrator and a M.P from Pune. He was the president of the Indian Olympic Association (IOC) before he was sacked in April 2011 under acrimonious circumstances. Kalmadi was the Chairman of the Organizing Committee of Commonwealth Games held in Delhi from 3 to 14 October 2010. So dedicated he was to this purpose, he completely forgot the presence of international media during the build up to the common wealth games. He had no clue how much trouble he was getting into when he approved those ridiculous tenders for buying towels , toilet rolls and treadmills. You can’t blame him now can you? This is what the PWD in our country has been doing for decades. Now, why this new yardstick for Mr. Kalmadi? He was expected to deliver a big budget event and he bigged the budget as much as possible. I have come to think Kalmadi was doing what has been done a godzillion times before, but he did it at the worst time possible. The stakes were too high, the world (ok the commonwealth) was watching, and India as a country was trying hard to project herself as this beacon of light midst defaults and bankruptcies. Anticlimactic as it may seem, the CWG inspection authorities started making noises, followed by squabbling with the IOC team. Photos of unclean toilets were flashed in the newspapers, the athletes expressed their concerns and before we knew it, some gentleman out of pure goodwill decided to publish details of the various tenders which were approved by the IOC. The government awoke from its slumber and the face-saving began and someone had to pay for the misdoings. Suresh Kalmadi, guilty as charged in a trial by general populace, was arrested on April 25, 2011 by the CBI over irregularities n the conduct of Queen’s Baton Relay (QBR) held in London in 2009 and sent to the affluent Tihar Jail. He continues to deny charges.