Transparency - investigate Rajiv Shukla
Rajiv Shukla whose BAG films dubious contracts were under CBI scanner in early 2000 also got involved in dubious deals with tainted businessman Ashok Chaturvedi. Rajiv Shukla also faced enquiry in purchasing prime land in Andheri, Mumbai for Bag films. The land was reserved or a primary school. Shukla’s partnership with Film producer and Director Subhash Ghai was also about cutting big land deals Through his networking in Finance Ministry, Shukla have always succeeded in evading raids or enquiries by Income Tax authorities.
The 1959 born Rajiv Shukla used money power when he engineered a split in MLAs of Uttar Pradesh to get elected as a Rajya Sabha member. Mafia dons like Harishankar Tewari and Amar Mani Tripathi of Loktantrik Congress Party voted Shukla to grab legitimate power in Delhi. “ Naresh Agarwal, another controversial politician was Shukla’s architect and sleeping partner in deals along with Chaturvedi.,” said a journalist on whose scooter Shukla used to be a pillion rider in early 1980s.
During President rule in UP, Shukla with help of a Hindi journalist Sanjeev Acharya got close to the then Governer Moti Lal Vohra. Sources said that through Vohra, the journalist turned power broker captured entire bureaucracy of India’s largest state. He mastered the art of obliging bureaucrats by manipulating plum postings for them. An art taught to him by JitendraPrasad, former political advisor to PV Narsimhrao.” If Narendra Modi is bit serious on anti-corruption front , the first man to be sent to jail should be Rajiv Shukla followed by few other journalist of UP, particularly the one making big money through a senior official in PMO. Modi should also not bother about Shukla’s brother in law Ravi Shankar Prasad, who is a cabinet minister in NDA 2, opined a former Editor of English news daily.
The man who hardly knows how to hold a bat became all in all in Indian Cricket. “ Rajiv fooled UP Cricket Association Secretary Jyoti Bajpai. He assured Bajpai of building an International Cricket Stadium in Noida who was then struggling with a matter relating to use of Green Park stadium. Impressed by Rajiv Shukla’s assurance, Bajpai got him into UPCA, but Shukla took no time to kick out Bajpai from UP’s cricket affairs,” said a former Test player of UP. According to him Shukla also managed to cut deals in Premiere Hockey league when he shook hands with Hockey India management, courtesy Arun Jaitley.
15 years back India’s leading magazine India Today wrote about Shukla’s networking skills, “ Rajiv Shukla has chosen to be seen as a journalist-networker rather than an overt power-broker, though he treads this fine line with finesse – the unimpeachable facilitator who is also a crack chat show host. “His thing in life is being on the ball as far as information is concerned,” says Tony Jesudasan, a senior executive with Reliance Industries Limited and publisher of the Sunday Observer – where Shukla is senior editor. “And he has an ability to get information first hand and an ability to add 2+2 to read 4, not 40.” Access plus insight.
When Star TV and Zee were having a spat over programming and DTH (direct-to-home) TV, both groups consulted Shukla. When then Star India chief Rathikant Basu flew down from Mumbai to Delhi, he would meet him. So would Zee Chairman Subhash Chandra, a friend. Jet Airways Chairman Naresh Goyal keeps in touch.”
Rajiv Shukla continues his support to Star India’s owner Rupert Murdoch.” There should be an enquiry into how Star Sports got TV rights in Cricket. And did Star Sports paid any money through any channel to Rajiv Shukla or to his BAG films in lieu of getting rights,” said a former Star executive.
(to be continued)
The Mumbai story of Rajiv Shukla
A 2,821-sq-m government-owned plot in Andheri, reserved for a primary school, was sold to BAG Films Education Society (BFES) for a paltry Rs 98,735 in 2008, recently released documents have revealed. In addition to this, the papers reveal, a 3,534.70 sq m plot adjacent to the first one, reserved for a playground, was allotted to BFES on a 15-year lease for just Rs 6,309.
A conservative estimate pegs the current market value of the two plots – located near Andheri’s Country Club at a staggering Rs 100 crore, and several activists have raised questions over their allotment.
Anuradha Prasad is the chairperson of the society, while her husband, Member of ParliamentRajeev Shukla, was secretary when the society applied for the plots way back in 2007. The state revenue department accepted the request and allotted the two plots to BFES in September 2008. Under Pressure Rajiv Shukla said that he would return the land. more