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Chicago Tribune report 'exposes' Kathuria

Last updated on: October 13, 2003 22:07 IST

Chirinjeev Kathuria, who is making a bid for the US Senate, is not a registered voter in Dupage County, says the Chicago Tribune.

 "That is only one of the striking inconsistencies surrounding Kathuria, whose campaign is built on highly embellished claims of success as an international business tycoon," says the Tribune in an article dated Sunday, October 12.

"A firm he until recently touted as a groundbreaking Internet site for health information is on life support, $3 million in debt, and has been sued by suppliers. Some major corporations he lists as backers say they have no financial involvement with him. Some firms he says the companies he launched were actually started by others, exist largely on paper, or are shrouded in what he said are confidentiality agreements," the paper says.

"Now Kathuria, who has never worked in a campaign or made a political contribution, is asking voters to make him the first Sikh in the Senate and has pledged to spend $ 6 million of his own money to get there."

The Internet and media archives are littered with interviews with Kathuria, as well as features about him and his business ventures -- most notably his involvement in a short-lived plan to privatise space travel. But the claims of business and personal accomplishments he is quoted as making in many accounts are riddled with contradictions -- inconsistencies that also stand out in ever-changing versions of his resume," the paper says.

"Under close scrutiny, however, many of Kathuria's claims don't hold up. Instead of an eye for business development, he has a gift for self-promotion and a record of corporate flops and non-starters.

"In addition to descriptions of his business pursuits, his campaign resume also lists him as the author of several scholarly health-related papers as well as a former consultant to the Swedish government who helped devise a plan to overhaul that nation's health-care system. But the papers, he said in an interview, were written in college and high school. The plan for Sweden, he said, was actually his undergraduate thesis at Brown University.

"Kathuria now disputes the accuracy of some of the published assertions attributed to him, but he acknowledged making no effort to correct them until questioned by the Tribune," the paper says. "The stuff I'm handing out now is all corrected," Kathuria said.

"Other news accounts and interviews describe Kathuria as dating at various times a Miss Stockholm, a Miss India and actress Salma Hayek. In one interview he was quoted as saying he was part of former President Bill Clinton's transition team after the 1992 election. He's told others that he helped develop health-care policies for the Clinton administration," the Tribune said.

"Asked about those assertions, Kathuria said he had been often misquoted. He also said he had been misquoted in an Internet-posted interview earlier this year that said he had been a classmate of the late John F Kennedy Jr. at Brown. Kennedy had graduated from the university before Kathuria entered. Yet, in a more recent interview with a different Internet publication, Kathuria was quoted as saying that he not only went to school with Kennedy but knew him personally. That, too, was a misquote, Kathuria insisted."