Forget Vadra. BJP should learn business lessons from Arun Jaitley!
Article Recommended by Digvijaya Singh
The BJP created much furore in Parliament yesterday over the alleged misdeeds of Robert Vadra. Had Robert Vadra been anyone other than Sonia Gandhi’s son-in-law, it would not have mattered. But for the BJP, this was a battering rod to use against the Congress. As is typical with the BJP, many interesting slogans were raised. As well as provocative statements. One such from Yashwant Sinha was “Vadra should open a management school and Chidambaram should learn from him how to bring down the country’s deficit without making any investment”. Well, let me take Yashwant Sinha on on this.
First, if Chidambaram needs to learn anything from anyone, it is from Arun Jaitley. In my posts titled “How does Arun Jaitley make so much money??” on 7th June (available at:http://blogs.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/the-real-truth/date/20130607), I wrote precisely on how great Arun Jaitley’s profit making skills were. Here are some extracts from the piece (marked in italics):
Arun Jaitley filed his nomination papers for the Rajya Sabha re-election, and stunned everyone by reporting a wealth of Rs 158 odd crores, of which Rs 120 crores is in his personal name (the rest in his wife’s, which actually means the same). In 2006, he had declared his wealth at Rs 24 crores.
I initially thought that his “immovable assets” (mostly property) would have soared, and given the economic growth in the last six years (despite the last year’s slowdown), it would have been a good explanation. Except that the filing gives a fairly detailed break-up of his wealth. And immovable assets have grown only from Rs 8 odd crores to Rs 35 odd crores – substantial but hardly enough to explain the overall growth. That’s itself a growth of 338%! Vadra is not alone in his achievements!
In fact, even if we take this part out, the growth from Rs 16 odd crores (24 less 8) to Rs 85 odd crores (120 less 35) is huge; in fact, more than 5 times. Clearly, this cannot be on account of regular “business”.
Talking of business, Jaitley is pretty much doing nothing substantial these days. He has stopped “practicing”, now that he has become a “master” of politics! He is not available as legal counsel any longer. Even if he does practice, it must be for a very limited number of cases or on political cases. He is also not on the Boards of any corporation (“remunerative directorships” as its called in the filings), as per his own filing. Nor for that matter, does he declare anything under “regular remunerated activity” or “shareholding of controlling nature” or even “paid consultancy”. Even if he were practicing, his income would have been around Rs 10 crores per annum (a figure he declared under “professional engagement” in 2005-6). That like I mentioned earlier has pretty much stopped.
None of Jaitley’s known sources of income explain the growth in wealth. But all of a sudden, there is the appearance of a loan of Rs 30 crores that Jaitley has apparently given to someone. Rs 30 crores? That’s serious money. Where did that come from? It wasn’t there six years back in 2006. And let’s not forget, wealth creation happens after the payment of taxes. To accumulate Rs 30 crores, Jaitley would have had to earn Rs 45 crores or so. Where did this come from? (In contrast, Corporation Bank’s Rs 7.5 crore loan is small change!)
It’s also not as if he’s taken on external liabilities that could possibly explain his capacity to extend such a loan? Sometimes people do that – borrow on their own personal credibility, and lend to others in the family or friends. But that’s also not true. There are no liabilities mentioned in Jaitley’s filing. Nor has he sold off any land or Jewellery, which in any case is not worth so much. This is truly a conundrum that only he can answer!
To the best of my knowledge, Yashwant Sinha knows that Arun Jaitley also hasn’t been to any B-school, but he has still made crores like Vadra has. Why single out Vadra?! If anything needs to be discussed in Parliament, it should be Arun Jaitley’s management lessons! Who is Robert Vadra after all? Just some small fry (politically). But Jaitley is a national leader right? Shouldn’t he be asked such questions in Parliament?
Or maybe the Parliament can discuss the famed fortunes of Nitin Gadkari, the 2nd BJP President to have been sacked from his post (after Bangaru Laxman) for making illicit wealth? As Yashwant Sinha knows, even Nitin Gadkari hasn’t been to any B-school!
The real truth is that the BJP is being specious (yet again) by demanding a discussion on a relative of a public leader (Vadra), but not on public leaders themselves (Jaitley/Gadkari). Besides, attacking Vadra is a clear case of attacking Sonia Gandhi. There is no substance to the case. A lot of people have made a lot of wealth in Gurgaon and other urban areas. Land is scarce in India, and land prices have shot through the roof. Vadra is hardly alone in making the crores in land deals that he has made. Most politicians in this country has made money in land deals. Who are we kidding here????