Romesh Sharma - Brahmin Criminal Galore

50 years of Brahminist rule under the Congress Party and Nehruvian Socialism have led to rampant corruption, nepotism and crime all across India. During this period, Brahmins have stripped India of her wealth, living in fabulous opulence whilst the average Indian lives just above the poverty line. Brahmin politicians, bankers and bureacrats have set up what is probably the biggest money-spinning machinery in the world. At every single stage of the government, palms are greased. All this has been done under the guise of Pseudo-Secularism. One of the main Pseudo-Secular Brahmin middlemen who made a fast buck from Nehruvian corruption is Romesh Sharma. And yes, Romesh Sharma is a Brahmin.

Indian Express, 7th Nov. 1998

Sharma's Untold Wealth from Crime and Politics

By R M Katyayan

Self-styled political leader, property shark and alleged Dawood Ibrahim frontman, Romesh Sharma, currently lodged in a Delhi jail grappling with a string of cases, is today in the news for all the wrong reasons. But, this master-criminal is the living example of the extent to which crime has pervaded the top echelons of Indian society and the way crime and politics are intermingled in the corridors of power in India.

The Patna High Court has ordered both the Central Bureau of Investigation and the Income Tax authorities to investigate the links of Romesh Sharma with the infamous fodder scam whose investigation the Court is monitoring and in which connection the former Chief Minister of the State, Laloo Prasad Yadav, is in jail. There have been reports in recent days of a link between Laloo and Romesh.

It is frightening that the life story of Romesh Sharma, who started as a hawker of clothes hangers, selling his ware on the streets of Sadar Bazar and earning a pittance, seems to have become a role model for the petty criminals on the make. That starting from those humble beginnings, Romesh has been able to acquire wealth through dubious means running into thousands of crores of rupees is itself staggering.

Raids on his several premises have revealed that he owns in various forms as many as 32 properties in the plushest areas of Delhi, Bombay and other cities, largely acquired by methods said to be less than honest. These properties include a bungalow in Mayfair Gardens, a farmhouse in Chatarpur, several bungalows in posh South Delhi colonies and a dozen foreign cars.

It is understood that much wining, dining and much else took place at the parties in Sharma's farmhouse in which India's noted politicians and bureaucrats were entertained and compromised. Little wonder then, that Sharma got away for so long with what amounts to grand larceny.

It is being said that Sharma's modus operandi for acquiring prime properties involved taking sprawling properties belonging to widows or old people initially on rent and later forcing them to sign sale documents at a pittance by holding out threats.

Romesh Sharma's career in both crime and in politics in the national capital seems to be at least a couple of decades old. He started in the Socialist Party of Madhu Limaye, went on to the Lok Dal of Choudhary Charan Singh and is said to have been inducted into the Congress Party by none other than the late-Rajiv Gandhi. Of course, all political parties are today denying any association with this character.

Romesh is said to have been very thick with the top brass of the police, which is being seen as the reason behind him not being apprehended all these decades, despite having acquired untold wealth through a brazen career in crime right under the nose of the police. Of course, the Delhi police has also denied this.

The present round of trouble began for Romesh Sharma, presently the President of the political party named All India Bharatiya Congress, even as he was preparing to field his candidates in the upcoming assembly elections. The case was over the helicopter that he had hired from a company when he contested the Lok Sabha elections from Phulpur near Allahabad. After he lost his deposit in the election, Romesh apparently refused to return the helicopter. He forced the owners to sign some documents, it is said.

It is in this helicopter case that Romesh came into the police net. When the income tax sleuths descended on his premises, they were amazed to see the hundreds of crores of rupees worth of apparently undeclared wealth. Inexplicably, hardly any attempt was made to hide the wealth.

Then it transpired that Romesh had taken advantage of the Voluntary Disclosure of Income Scheme of last year and declared some of the properties and also paid 30 percent tax on them. Of course, he had grossly undervalued the value of the property to reduce his tax liability. For, instance, the helicopter stationed in his sprawling Chattarpur farm house

From gun-running to corruption, from sleaze to high connections, Romesh Sharma did them all.

India Today, Nov. 16, 1998

Romesh Sharma: From Vagabond to VIP

By Harish Gupta

Stories on Romesh Sharma in the media have been endless. Of these, one of the most talked about is that that like most gangsters of his era, Sharma got political protection for his mafia operations. Unfortunately, this is absolutely untrue. This amazing crime czar —from a small village and poor family in Phulp in Uttar Pradesh —was a combination of astute businessman, ruthless criminal-turned-politician, which, with the help of the Indian democratic system, he turned into a criminal enterprise and then become a system in itself.

Otherwise how does one explain his phenomenal growth from a penniless vagabond on the footpaths of Delhi’s Sadar Bazar to a man worth over Rs 200 core with plush property in Delhi’s Mayfair Gardens and Juhu in Mumbai. Name any VIP worth his weight in town and Sharma has or had links with him. Two thick dossiers seized by the Special Task Force (STF) comprising the Delhi Police, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), Intelligence Bureau (IB), Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) and the Union Home Ministry from his Mayfair Garden residence unravelled a graphic picture of all those who patronised him during the past five years.

Whether it was former prime ministers, Union ministers, chief ministers, numerous politicians, bureaucrats, journalists or artists, all made a beeline to his house. It will take the STF at least two months to figure out the purposes of these visits. His connections in the corporate world are also phenomenal. One of the most important is his association with V Balasubramaniam, president of Reliance Industries Ltd (Delhi operations)—one of India’s premier industrial houses.

Ironically, there is no official explanation till date on how this "over-world don", whose house was raided by Income Tax authorities in April 1989 in Mumbai and complaints against whom have been pending with the police about his nefarious activities, was provided with "Y" category security cover.

That Sharma was desperate for getting police security as early as in 1988 became clear when the Delhi Police found from its records a copy of a letter written by Chintamani Panigrahi, then minister of state for home affairs. Panigrahi wrote demi-official letters on March 8, 1988 to then Delhi Lieutenant Governor H L Kapur, Uttar Pradesh chief minister Veer Bahadur Singh and Maharashtra chief minister S B Chavan asking them to provide security cover to Sharma, general secretary of the All India Kaumi Ekta Committee, E-41, Panchsheel Park, New Delhi. It was pointed out by Panigrahi that Sharma’s office in Mumbai was attacked by goons in February 1988 and, therefore, he be provided with protection. Panigrahi also said that Sharma had been attacked in Allahabad in 1987 and January 1988. Strangely, in a statement to India Today, Panigrahi denied that he was ever a minister of state for home affairs in 1988. However, a copy obtained by this magazine reveals the contrary.

Incidentally, the E-41, Panchsheel Park house belongs to Sudarshan Agrawal who was then the secretary-general of the Rajya Sabha. Sharma took the house from Agrawal on rent and later refused to move out. Agrawal with his contacts in places which matter finally was able to get rid of him. The Mumbai Police did not give him protection even though numerous complaints were registered against Sharma for grabbing properties at Royal Turner Road in Juhu and elsewhere. The police was also aware that he was closely associated with mafia don Vardarajan Mudaliar alias Varda. Sharma’s involvement in grabbing prime properties and a raid by the Income Tax Department led to a furore in the Maharashtra Assembly then.

However, the saga continued. In 1990-91, Subodh Kant Sahay, who was minister of state for home affairs during the Chandra Shekhar government, again provided him with security cover. This security cover continued even during P V Narasimha Rao’s regime for over a year. Sahay points out that in view of the disturbances in Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir, he received several such requests and directed the authorities accordingly. He did not know Sharma personally and it was for the Delhi Police to verify the facts and decide on whether security needed to be provided or not.

P N Sukul, a member of the Rajya Sabha, raised the Sharma issue in the House on May 4, 1989 and wanted the government to make a statement. But he was interrupted by Ram Avdhesh Singh of the Opposition saying that he was in his party once and the uproar that ensued drowned the issue. Sukul clarified that he had been expelled from the party for his activities. Thus, finding the Mumbai turf too hot, Sharma packed his bags and moved back to the Capital.

It was in Delhi that Sharma’s political ambitions got a fillip. Though he had moved to Mumbai from Delhi during 1977-78 and became a property dealer and part of Vardu’s gang, he joined the Socialist Party of Raj Narain. Later, he switched over to the Lok Dal and presented a car to late Charan Singh for party work. After the fall of the Charan Singh government, Sharma took advantage of his Phulpur connections and became close to J N Mishra, an IAS officer and private secretary to Indira Gandhi. It was then that Sharma joined the Congress. However, the Maneka-Mrs Gandhi feud led to Mishra’s ouster from the PMO. Mishra joined the Rashtriya Sanjay Vichar Manch, a political outfit floated by Maneka in 1982. Sharma tagged along and joined the manch and became its general secretary. This was the first political office that Sharma held. Sources allege that he paid Rs 2 lakh to the party fund to fight the Indira Congress.

Maneka Gandhi, currently Welfare Minister in the Vajpayee government, however, feigns ignorance about Sharma asking "was he really a general secretary." Later, she explained he had been brought to her by one Sujatullah, a lawyer, for admission into the party since he had been expelled from Charan Singh’s Lok Dal. "But I am sure you know what Sharma did to me later at the behest of Rajiv? Can you imagine, he expelled me from the Rashtriya Sanjay Vichar Manch," she counters.

According to reliable sources, D P Tripathi who was close to Rajiv Gandhi and Ghulam Nabi Azad wanted to weaken Maneka and persuaded Sharma to desert her to join the Congress. Mrs Gandhi was also hell bent on teaching Maneka a lesson and Sharma was a prize catch.

Sharma flourished during the Congress regime. He was made secretary of the All India Kisan Cell when late Ram Chandra Vikal was its chairman sometime in 1986-87. Sushil Kumar Shinde was general secretary in charge of the frontal organisations. Shinde who was AICC general secretary in 1987 said he did not recall that Ram Chandra Vikal and Sharma were office-bearers of the Kisan cell of the party. "All these cells were defunct after 1982 and non-functional. In any case, Vikal had joined the BJP later and I don’t recall all the names of the office-bearers. Sharma was not at all connected with the Kisan cell."

However, Sharma couldn’t manage to become an AICC delegate from Allahabad despite his clout. The IT raids at his Mumbai house in April 1989 had created further complications for him and he withdrew backstage for sometime. With the change of guard at the Centre and the advent of the Chandra Shekhar regime, Sharma resurfaced. He got his security cover. However, he remained in the Congress and became an AICC delegate, attended the Tirupati session, even sitting on the dais.

It is said that due to the support given by Mahabir Prasad, president of the UPCC, he was inducted into the PCC as a first time delegate from Amroha in Moradabad district. It is also stated that he was close to the political adviser to the then Congress president. So influential was the man that to accommodate him, the quota of AICC members from Moradabad district was raised to four from three. However, Sharma failed to get any position in either the AICC or anywhere else. Sharma’s efforts to get a Lok Sabha ticket also came to naught.

Realising that his political career was falling apart, which was crucial as a cover for his other alleged activities, he decided to quit the Congress and contest as an Independent from Phulpur. He lost his deposit and polled less than 500 votes though he campaigned in a Bell helicopter which he rented from H Suresh Rao. Even after he lost the election, Sharma decided to keep the helicopter with him which ultimately led to his downfall. His clout grew with the emergence of the United Front government. He got the helicopter registered with the Director-General of Civil Aviation within two days in his name, a procedure which normally takes months.

His proximity to former Bihar chief minister Laloo Prasad Yadav is now a fact with the CBI’s Patna branch finding evidence that Yadav’s office booked rooms for his stay at Maurya Hotel on three occasions in 1997-98. Yadav used to be a regular at parties organised by Sharma at his Jai Mata Di farmhouse in Satbari in Mehrauli.

Interestingly, investigations by the crime branch of the Delhi Police have revealed that Sharma acquired the Mehrauli farmhouse from Congress MP M K Subba. It is said that Subba offered his farmhouse to him at a throwaway price in lieu of partnership in the proposed Disneyland in Haryana which then Haryana chief minister Om Prakash Chautala was planning to construct.

A time-tested Brahmin strategy is to occupy all extremes of the political spectrum. Thus, whether Pseudo-Seculars, neo-Kautilyan Communists or Hindutvadins, all major leaders of these movements are Brahmins. Romesh Sharma thus knew his Arthasastra well: whilst the Pseudo-Secular Congress was his main supporter, he also obtained help from the Hindutva camp. Thus, he met the noted BJP firebrand, Sushma Swaraj, who has incidentally spoken in favour of the Vedic custom of Sati -

The Hindustan Times, Tuesday, January 5, 1999, New Delhi

Police report says Romesh met Sushma

Madhukar Kumar

New Delhi, January 4. The Delhi Police’s interrogation report of Romesh Sharma sent to some investigating agencies categorically states that he had claimed to have met former Delhi chief minister Sushma Swaraj a few days before he was arrested by the police.

It may be recalled that Ms Swaraj had sworn over the Bhagwad Gita in public that she did not know Romesh Sharma. She had done so on the eve of the Delhi Assembly polls and maintained ever since that she had never heard of him. She also added that her husband, Swaraj Kaushal, had ever met him. So now the above mentioned report could cast a shadow over her future political career.

Romesh Sharma had told us during interrogation that he knew Sushma Swaraj and that a few days before he was arrested, he had met the former chief minister,” said an officer who questioned Romesh. He had also stated that he had met her on a few ocassions before. His claim was as vehement as the denial of Ms Swaraj, he added.

Sources in intelligence agencies who are in possession of the report said that Romesh had also told the sleuths during interrogation that three days after he met Ms Swaraj, Additional Commissioner Income Tax, Vishv Bandhu Gupta, was transferred out. Mr Gupta was investigating some cases against Romesh at that time.

The interrogation report, the sources said, further names several politicians who had “close links” with Romesh. The investigating agencies had been asked to prepare a list of the people who were close to Romesh Sharma.

Romesh Sharma will be remembered as one of history's more corrupt Brahmins.

-- Manohar Shanmugam,
Dalitstan Journal,
Volume 1, Issue 3 (Dec. 1999)

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