It is one of the oldest Bombay Dreams.
Kripashankar Singh came to the city three decades ago and sold vegetables on the street, much like any other immigrant from the northern states. He then worked as a machine operator for many years, and started to work and associate with the Congress party in the 1990s. As his clout in the party grew, so did his wealth, and in 2004, he earned the coveted spot of State Home Minister in the Maharashtra Cabinet.
In 2008, as the 4,000 crore Madhu Koda case was being investigated, Kripa’s son’s father-in-law, Kamlesh Singh, was arrested. No link was found between Kripa and the Koda scam, but another interesting factoid was discovered as part of this investigation: Kripa was HUGELY wealthy – 60+ crore rupees in bank accounts, lots of undeclared properties, etc. But nothing really changed.
In 2011, as part of the 2G scam, investigators found an unexplained 4.5 crores had been sent to Kripa’s bank account. This turned out to be the straw that broke the camel’s back and finally Kripa resigned. Brave activist Sanjay Tiwari filed a PIL against Kripa and then, a few days ago, the Bombay High Court directed the city police commissioner to prosecute Kripashankar Singh for “criminal misconduct” under the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988, based on this PIL.
Yesterday, as the Special Investigations team took control of the many, many properties that Kripa and his family own, the politician’s son, as seen in the picture, showed his middle finger to the media waiting outside one of the many bungalows that are being seized. As we read through the many news reports on Kripa’s incredible wealth, it’s hard to believe that despite all of this scrutiny, this type of wealth amassment went on for years. And yet, it is so easy to believe. This is one of the many Bombay Dreams, after all.