It’s not surprising that a lot of people are suddenly asking questions about Nagpur-based Manoj Kumar Jayaswal, chairman of the Abhijeet Group which has interests in power, mining and roads. That’s because MKJ, as his friends call him (also the initials on his personal aircraft, bought for Rs 160 crore), is now famous. But not in the way he perhaps wanted. Firms owned by the Jayaswals got nine blocks in the controversial coal allocation. They also got raided by the CBI recently.
Photographs of Jayaswal with a host of luminaries—actor Jeetendra, cricketer-turned-MP Azharuddin, businessman Subroto Roy—are doing the rounds on the net. But given the circumstances, it’s the photo-ops with politicians that’s piqued everyone’s interest. And there’s plenty of that, with Jharkhand CM Arjun Munda, Union coal minister Sriprakash Jaiswal and Rajya Sabha MP Vijay Darda. There are even some morphed ones, of Jayaswal with the high and mighty. So who is he—and what are the unlisted Abhijeet Group’s funding sources? Abhijeet Power filed a draft offer document in June 2011 to raise Rs 1,375 crore in shares of Rs 10 face value, but the matter didn’t go much further. “There are many such groups in central India,” says a Delhi-based infrastructure consultant, rather mysteriously.
Here’s what we do know: MKJ started off as a scrap dealer at Bhilai around 1980. His father, according to all accounts, worked in Calcutta as an agent dealing in coal. After the nationalisation of the coal mines, the family moved to Nagpur and set up a steel melting plant. In 1987, the family found itself in a criminal case after five workers were killed during a labour unrest at the factory. Here the Jayaswals found a helping hand in the Darda family, who owned the Lokmat group of newspapers. Both joined hands and expanded their respective businesses, in some of which they also became partners. As the political clout of Vijay Darda grew, the Jayaswals also prospered.
When MKJ’s daughter recently got married, the doting dad hosted four glittering parties in four different locales, including one in Phuket, Thailand. And the invitation cards named Vijay Darda as one of the hosts. According to people in the know, Manoj Jayaswal was adept at playing both the Congress and BJP cards. He’s related to coal minister Jaiswal by marriage. And the allocation of the coal blocks in Jharkhand initially happened due to the BJP. According to political watchers, the reason the Darda and Abhijeet groups have been targeted first by the CBI (although only four of the 57 blocks are located in Maharashtra) is that the Congress is getting back at Darda for his open support to Narendra Modi recently.
That hits the bull's eye.The minister for coal with nephew at a grand wedding, which is not a crime. But if the nephew is a beneficiary of Coalgate, the minister has a lot to explain. We just have wait till matters/facts are dug up, by 'investigative' journalists , against the CBI's own ' investigations & raids' which are being publicised even as we wait.Let us see who wins this race.The CBI should with it's vast resources but it's weak knees and proclivity to bend might just work against it.
We at Outlookindia.com welcome feedback and your comments, including scathing criticism
1. Scathing, passionate, even angry critiques are welcome, but please do not indulge in abuse and invective. Our Primary concern is to keep the debate civil. We urge our users to try and express their disagreements without being disagreeable. Personal attacks are not welcome. No ad hominem please.
2. Please do not post the same message again and again in the same or different threads
3. Please keep your responses confined to the subject matter of the article you are responding to. Please note that our comments section is not a general free-for-all but for feedback to articles/blogs posted on the site
4. Our endeavour is to keep these forums unmoderated and unexpurgated. But if any of the above three conditions are violated, we reserve the right to delete any comment that we deem objectionable and also to withdraw posting privileges from the abuser. Please also note that hate-speech is punishable by law and in extreme circumstances, we may be forced to take legal action by tracing the IP addresses of the poster.
5. If someone is being abusive or personal, or generally being a troll or a flame-baiter, please do not descend to their level. The best response to such posters is to ignore them and send us a message at Mail AT outlookindia DOT com with the subject header COMPLAINT
6. Please do not copy and paste copyrighted material. If you do think that an article elsewhere has relevance to the point you wish to make, please only quote what is considered fair-use and provide a link to the article under question.
7. There is no particular outlookindia.com line on any subject. The views expressed in our opinion section are those of the author concerned and not that of all of outlookindia.com or all its authors.
8. Please also note that you are solely responsible for the comments posted by you on the site. The comments could be deleted or edited entirely at our discretion if we find them objectionable. However, the mere fact of their existence on our site does not mean that we necessarily approve of their contents. In short, the onus of responsibility for the comments remains solely with the authors thereof. Outlookindia.com or any of its group publications, may, however, retains the right to publish any of these comments, with or without editing, in any medium whatsoever. It is therefore in your own interest to be careful before posting.
9.Outlookindia.com is not responsible in any manner whatsoever for how any search engine -- such as Google, Bing etc -- caches or displays these comments. Please note that you are solely responsible for posting these comments and it is a privilege being granted to our registered users which can be withdrawn in case of abuse. To reiterate:
a. Comments once posted can only be deleted at the discretion of outlookindia.com
b. The comments reflect the views of the authors and not of outlookindia.com
c. outlookindia.com is not responsible in any manner whatsoever for the way search engines cache or display these comments
d. Please therefore take due caution before you post any comments as your words could potentially be used against you
10. We have an online thread for our comments policy:
You are welcome to post your suggestions here or in case you have a specific issue, to directly email us at Mail AT outlookindia DOT com with the subject header COMPLAINT