|Rediff India Abroad Home | All the sections|
Saharashri vs Mayawati. The war is on!
May 24, 2007
Sahara India Parivar's flamboyant supremo and master financial strategist, Saharashri Subroto Roy, has two very dear and intimate family friends.
Anil Dhirubhai Ambani and Mulayam Singh Yadav.
Saharashri Subroto Roy will do or die for them, but never let them down in their looming hour of crisis. He owes so much to each one of these two steadfast and dear friends.
Now, it is his turn to exhibit his loyalty and support to them. He is strong enough to take on the vendetta of Mayawati, come what may.
Remember how Amitabh Bachchan was in debt and Canara Bank managers were hounding him. But for Saharashri's timely support, Big B would have been in the doldrums.
That is what true friendship is all about. Saharashri Subroto Roy excels and exults in it.
Mulayam Singh is a powerful and rich Indian politician. Till the other day, he was also the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh.
Saharashri Subroto Roy and Mulayam Singh have been bosom pals for donkey's years. They will do anything to support each other.
Both of them are so close and informal that on the day of his taking the sacrosanct and most formal oath to become chief minister, Mulayam Singh refused to use the chief minister's official car.
He proudly went for the official swearing-in ceremony ensconced proudly with his jigri dost Saharashri Subroto Roy in the latter's very own personal car!
Such unusual gestures were calibrated and executed, flouting all time-honoured ceremonial conventions and traditions.
The loud message was to herald to the world that Sahara India Parivar's very own man had 'arrived'.
The poor but thrifty investors in Sahara's Utopian moneymaking schemes were stunned. As expected, the strategy to overwhelm and impress all those trusting investors about Saharashri Subroto Roy's clout with those in power had succeeded.
Mulayam Singh's first cabinet was drawn up and finalised in Saharashri Subroto Roy's presence.
Normally, it ought to have been done in the chief minister's office, either at Kalidas Marg, or better still on the 5th floor of the state secretariat in Lucknow.
Most certainly, not while Mulayam Singh enjoyed the air-conditioned lap of luxury so generously proffered by Saharashri Subroto Roy at the Sahara Towers in Kapoorthala, Lucknow.
Today, the times have changed. The CBI is investigating Mulayam Singh's assets.
Mayawati would love to see him behind bars. She has all the power to do so as UP's chief minister.
This is real sankat ka samay (hour of crisis) for poor Mulayam. He yearns for total support, and friend Saharashri Subroto Roy has risen to the occasion to provide him succour and support.
Mayawati can do her best, but Saharashri Subroto Roy will stand by Mulayam's side like a steadfast rock. It is such sterling character that has helped him to build, nurse and nurture the largest single family in the world. The Sahara Parivar.
Anil Ambani is a relatively recent addition into the Sahara India Parivar's ever-growing tribe of family friends.
He passionately wants to become a world-beater.
Anil and his bosom pal Amar Singh together set out to make UP into Uttam Pradesh.
The intense and intimate friendship between Anil Ambani and Saharashri Subroto Roy was cemented thanks to Amar Singh. It was also very well publicised.
Mulayam Singh, the village pahelwan from Etawah, was overwhelmed and charmed by the easy interaction of the Sahara India Parivar, friend Amar Singh's resourcefulness and filmy duniya clout, Anil Ambani's wealth, and the halo of the one and only superstar Amitabh Bachchan.
Mulayam resolved to do anything and everything to facilitate Anil Ambani's Dadri power plant.
Samajwadi Party old-timers and active cadres -- even his family -- became neglected/envious at times.
His old colleagues, well-wishers and admirers were too frightened to come out openly and caution Mulayam.
Saharashri Subroto Roy's is a story from rags to riches. Rather, from a rickety scooter to a fleet of aeroplanes.
He has vision. A scooter-riding chit-fund seller, Subroto Roy of Gorakhpur during the 1970s has grown into a global Goliath, thanks to that vision. Saharashri Subroto Roy, if you please.
They say he has a knack to spot the contours of any virgin territory/terrain faster than many hawks put together. This sounds preposterous to most people who do not know him. Visit Lonavala's picturesque Amby Valley if you refuse to believe this assertion.
Reliable observers say valuable prime land all over UP has been extensively surveyed, methodically carved out and acquired by the Sahara India Parivar group of companies.
Several Sahara townships have sprung up on paper, all over UP. Project Gangotri and the Sahara 5000 acres super-prime land between Kanpur and Lucknow is just one example.
The huge, historic Bareilly jail campus is located in the most coveted and prestigious Civil Lines, Cantonment, Bareilly. Its takeover in Sahrashri's master plan was almost botched up. Why did Mulayam have to lose to Mayawati? Bad luck!
Lucknow also boasts of one huge, new Saharaganj, rival to the world-famous Hazratganj.
Interestingly, the famed Sahrashahr is situated on the banks of the Gomti in Lucknow. It is a sprawling landscape spread over hundreds of acres of virgin territory.
Recall the most ostentatious wedding of Saharashri's two sons some time ago? The most lavish wedding ever held in India? This is that famous place.
Yes, that very Saharashahr property's nakshas (plans and maps) have not been formally sanctioned by the Lucknow Development Authority till date. Chief town planner Goel was removed for raising objections.
Chief Minister Mulayum Singh allowed all the constructions to grow and got his ministers to sanction/legalise/regularise the arrangement.
Virtually all of Uttar Pradesh waits and watches with bated breath to see how Mayawati will handle this sensational case. She has the capability and the power to re-open the Lucknow Saharashahr case afresh.
The question doing the rounds in UP is: Does she have the guts, willpower and integrity to do it?
Small cases she has opened up. But this one case will involve tremendous moral strength and determination.
According to those in the know, Sahara has taken possession of huge areas of land in Noida. Their market value/price runs into hundreds, maybe thousands, of crores of rupees.
With Mayawati's advent, some rash optimists predict there may be some efforts at investigating those purchases.
Veteran sceptics scoff at the rash optimists. The doubting Thomases seem to know the power and influence of the Sahara India Parivar.
In Dadri, Bulandshahr, farmers were encouraged to join in the grand dream fulfilment of building Uttam Pradesh.
The compensation paid to the Dadri farmers by the UP government was Rs 150 per square foot. Thereafter, the UP government acquired that very land.
And what happened to the land so acquired?
It was hived off to Anil Ambani's group.
Whether the Dadri power plant finally takes off or not is to be seen. The electricity shortage in UP has been a perennial problem which Anil Ambani has promised to solve.
Mayawati has a huge appetite for power. Cynics cite the popular UP saying, 'Haathi ke daant khaane ke aur hote hain, dikhaane ke aur hote hain (An elephant has different teeth for eating, different teeth for display).'
A general election is round the corner. Her teams are methodically being put in place for that election. Election expenses are rising by the second. The Congress party has failed to control/contain inflation and the ever-spiralling price rise.
Saharashri Subroto Roy can take her on, and fight on any front she chooses. He is determined to go to any extent to protect his friends.
How Mayawati reacts needs to be watched closely.
The battle-lines are drawn. On one hand there is the intrepid, mighty, all-powerful Mayawati. Pitched against her is Amar Singh, Amitabh Bachchan, Anil Ambani and Mulayam Singh's dearest friend, philosopher and guide, the ever-resourceful Saharashri Subroto Roy, with his mammoth muscle and money power.
What she does to deliver results will also decide her fate in the next election.