These are days when everyday one scam comes out in media and people forget it after few days. To refresh the memory of people let me place the corruption history of Congress governments.
Jeep Scam of 1947 : Pakistan invaded Indian territory of Kashmir and Indian army needed Jeeps to travel in difficult terrain of Kashmir. V.K.Krishna Menon was India’s High Commission to Britain. Like our Suresh Kalmadi, he placed orders for 4603 Jeeps from a dubious company. You may ask what is wrong in it ? The Jeeps were of poor quality. It was supplied after the War was over. Parliament rocked. Ananthasayanam Iyengar Committee was constituted to probe the scam. It had submitted its report which till date had not been made public. So the Congress party which Mahathma Gandhi wanted to be disbanded once independence was attained and become a Seva Sangh, started serving India with being the first in bagging the trophy for corruption. Congress also taught Indians that it can not only rule but can lay precedent to misrule by sending the first scam report to cold storage.
First corrupt politician to be jailed 1949 : The then Industries Minister of Vindhya Pradesh Rao Shiv Bahadur Singh was caught red handed receiving a bribe of Rs 25,000 for renewing a diamond mine lease in Patna. Singh was imprisoned for 3 years. The first Congress leader to go to jail and starting the Corruption brigade in Congress which now has Suresh Kalmadi as national show piece .
First bureaucrat to be jailed 1951: There existed a quota for import of cycle parts, and it was given to a sole importer benefitting that particular importer and in this scam Union Industries and Commerce Secretary S.A.Venkatraman was sentenced to three years imprisonment. The great honour of going to jail was conferred on a bureaucrat who taught the bureaucracy graftology.
Mundra Scam that hit T.T.Krishnamachari 1957 : Life Insurance Corporation of India was influenced by Finance Minister T.T.Krishnamachari to lend Harida Mundra of Kanpur Rs 1 crore by purchasing shares in his firms with no real standing in order to boost the prices of those companies in share market. Haridas Mundra was jailed for 22 months. Finance Minister T.T.Krishnamachari, had to resign earning the reputation of first Union Minister to step down and for a Dalit Minister to get this honour it took time till 2011.
Hasan Ali of those days Teja Caper 1962 : Liechtenstein bank as safe have for black money is very much in news nowadays, thanks to Hasan Ali popularizing that bank and Puducherry Lt.Governor Iqbal Singh helping Hasan Ali get fake passport. Jayanthi Dharma Teja set up a shipping company with a paid up capital of Rs 200 only. A Nehruvian recommendation got that company Rs 22 crore as loan. Jayanthi Shipping Company of Dharma Teja pocketed all advance payments in his Leichtenstein bank account. In this scam finally Dharma Teja was arrested in London in the year 1970 . Het got six years imprisonment. But he escaped and like Puducherry absconder Ravi Shah co-accused along with his brother Kamal Shah who raped and brutally murdered his elder brother Ravi Shah’s wife Parvathi Shah , Dharma Teja is absconder and Indians forgot this scam too.
Punjab Scam of its Chief Minister 1964 : Allowing family members to amass wealth disproportionate to known sources of income may be famous because of Jayalalitha’s disproportionate asset case and 2 G scam cases but first Chief Minister to fall prey to his family’s greed was Punjab Chief Minister Pratap Singh Kairon. Dass Commission of Enquiry indicted him and he had to step down from office.
Nagarwala Mystery of 1971 : After liberating Bangla Desh Indira Gandhi was called as Goddess Durga by Indian masses. Before 1971 because of Congress party split and veterans like Kamaraj leaving Congress to start Old Congress which was known as Syndicate, the Indira Gandhi Government survived with the support of 25 member DMK Parliamentary party headed by orator Nanjil Manoharan. Aringnar Anna inculcated in the blood and veins of DMK cadre anti-congressim but Kalaignar M.Karunanithi made the historical mistake of supporting Congress to survive, which he must be repenting now in 2011. In 1971 polls DMK-Indira Congress alliance was struck. I still remember as Student DMK leader, the veterans of Congress like R.Venkatraman, C.Subramanian, Mohan Kumaramangalam and others of the Congress delegation standing before DMK President posing photographs without sitting in available sofas to get only 10 Parliament seats with NO assembly seat for Congress in the alliance deal. In such historical year of 1971 State Bank of India chief cashier got a phone call with someone speaking in Indira Gandhi’s voice directing him to give Rs 60 lakhs to her messenger, a former army officer Rustom Sorab Nagarwala . Bank allowed Nagarwala to withdraw 60 lakhs at just one unverified phone call. Nagarwala got killed in road accident and the mystery still haunts us, who killed Nagarwala ?
Puducherry Licence Scam of 1974 : In that year a clean honest and efficient Lt.Governor Cheddilal IAS was ruling Puducherry succeeding B.D.Jatti. Those days Congressmen of Puducherry know only three ways to earn. One is to get arrack and toddy shops and other is to get bus routes. Third one was to get licenses to import scarce items and sell that licenses to Bombay traders. Just paper work. Puducherry merchants submitted a memorandum signed by 21 Members of Parliament of course with forged signatures to the Union Commerce Ministry seeking import licenses. Tulmohan Ram M.P alleged to be directed by Indira Gandhi’s aide Lalit Narayan Mishra of Bihar got these forged signatures and this scam rocked the Parliament. Lalit Narain Mishra got killed in Samastipur blast that occurred in 1975. That’s all the country forgot the Puducherry Licence scam.
Arjun Singh’s Lottery Scam of 1982 : Madya Pradesh Chief Minister Arjun Singh was alleged to have been receiving Rs 5.4 crore through Churhat Children’s Welfare Society but Bhopal High Court exonerated him.
To continue next week :