Rahul Gandhi while vacationing in Indonesia in what the Congress says is a “meditative retreat”, seems to have found the time to flog a dead horse yet again. The now-a-vacation-now-a-tweet, part-time politician took to Twitter to tweet a Caravan article that aims to cast aspersions yet again on Amit Shah’s son Jay Shah.
In an extremely juvenile tweet, Rahul Gandhi tweeted the Caravan story and said that “Now the story will be killed Kanpati pe gun laga kar”. While everyone heaved a sigh of relief that Rahul Gandhi had finally discovered the use of a different emoticon other than the LGBTQ rainbow, it still did not stop him from not making sense.
The article that Rahul Gandhi is now fawning on flags a long-dead horse. It is a repeat of the same old lies and insinuations against Jay Shah that another publication is now facing a multi-crore defamation case for.
The entire Caravan article is based on official documents that Kusum Finserve LLP, a company where Jay Shah is a partner, filed with the Ministry of Corporate Affairs. The insinuation in the article is clear in the introductory para itself. The crux of the problem with all the hit jobs against Jay Shah is that the articles focus on turnover and not the profit. While the turnover of the company may be high, the company may even make a meagre profit or even a loss. However, the portals focus on the turnover to insinuate how the company is flourishing. What makes the hitjobs worse is that while they focus on assets of the company, they fail to mention the liability that the company has, thus providing an incorrect picture of the business itself.
The article in the introductory paragraph says that the net worth of the company increased after the Modi government came to power. It is rather interesting that the Caravan article would insinuate that somehow, Jay Shah’s business doing well has something to do with Narendra Modi being the Prime Minister of the Country since the Gujarat High Court in its observations in the defamation case filed by Jay Shah had said:
Interestingly, the High Court then concurred with the Trial Court’s observations that team Wire has failed to prove that there was any sort of nexus of the Prime Minister with the increase in the business of the Jay Shah’s company. More interestingly, the High Court agreed with the observation that team Wire has failed to prove that “following the election of Narendra Modi as Prime Minister, the plaintiff (Jay Shah) has flourished”.
Next, the Caravan story moves to further its rhetoric in a far more sinister and ridiculous fashion.
The Caravan makes the increase in credit facility sound “dramatic”, they mention next that Amit Shah had in 2018 mortgaged two of his properties to secure a loan of Rs 25 crores for his son Jay Shah. In fact, if Amit Shah had mortgaged two of his properties for securing a loan for Jay Shah like any normal businessman seeking a line of credit, one wonders how Caravan can even call it “dramatic” or make it sound like there was any wrongdoing in the process.
The Caravan article says that what stood out in the MCA documents filed by Jay Shah is the fact that the net fixed assets of Kusum increased manifold. It was 2.60 crores in 2018 while it shot up to 23.25 crores in 2019. What it mentions in an unrelated paragraph is that the operational costs of the company too increased manifold and it was evident that the company was expanding. Interestingly, Caravan does not mention the quantum of increase in the operational cost of the company so an average reader cannot discern that there was indeed no wrong-doing. Further, the article itself talks about the loan that Amit Shah mortgaged his properties for in 2018. With all of that put together, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the fixed assets of the firm grew in 2019, however, the Caravan makes it sound like there is a huge mystery behind the rise when there clearly isn’t.
The Caravan further repeats that the nature of the business of Kusum Finserve is unclear, however, it does mention later that the company is involved in trading. It mentions that Kusum Finserve had clarified that they are engaged in the business of trading in stocks and shares, import and export activities and distribution. In fact, while the Caravan article itself admits that the firm had set up a sizeable factory on the mortgaged land in Sanand, it repeatedly raises questions on how the turnover and revenue of the company saw an increase. To recap, the company that Caravan is questioning is involved in trading shares and stocks, import and export and has also started a factory that manufactures PP, HDPE and jumbo bags but, the Caravan cannot figure out how and why the company makes money at all.
Further, the author of the article says that when he visited Sanand, he was not allowed in the factory premises, however, he also says that it was not evident what the factory is manufacturing. A pertinent question to ask here is if the author did not enter the factory at all, how can he conclude that there was no indication of what the factory was manufacturing? Is it the author’s hope that the factory would keep its produce strewn about on the road?
Essentially, Caravan impugns the integrity of a businessman who seems to be running a legitimate business and generating employment without using his name to avail any undue or additional benefit. Jay Shah appears to have never defaulted on the repayment of any of his loans and by all accounts by Caravan itself, runs his business as an average business person would.
It is pertinent to note here that the now-a-vacation-now-a-tweet politician that is Rahul Gandhi is himself out on bail. While he rides the Caravan clown car, Rahul Gandhi himself is out-on-bail on a number of charges that includes lying about RSS and essentially swindling money from the company where he was the Director. Interestingly, while he impugns Jay Shah, the charge is that Rahul Gandhi had not disclosed that he was the director in the company himself.
One can certainly argue that Jay Shah is far more useful to the economy and the country in general compared to Rahul Gandhi. While one generates employment and manufactures goods under Make in India, the other vanishes to Bangkok after undermining national interest and hides his own dubious sources of income and connections with an arms dealer. Essentially, the confused-politician who was advised to retire from politics by a New York Times journalist once is bereft of ideas and the acumen one needs to balance political interests and the truth itself.
It should be recalled that the dubious sources of income of Rahul Gandhi himself have not been explained yet. Gandhi’s assets have grown exponentially in the past few years if one compares his election affidavits from the year 2004, 2009 and 2014 and the source of income is yet to be explained. In a report, OpIndia had written about how Rahul and Priyanka Gandhi rented their property to scam accused FTIL and had purchased the property from another company accused in the 2G scam.
Rahul Gandhi has also not explained his dubious land deal with one HL Pahwa in 2008, that connects Rahul straight to arms dealer Sanjay Bhandari. The land that was brought by Rahul Gandhi was purchased at a measly price of Rs. 26,47,000. This land purchase was mentioned in his election affidavit of 2009. HL Pahwa himself has several dubious connections. Robert Vadra and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra had also purchased land from HL Pahwa and then sold it back to Pahwa himself at a much-inflated price. To make good on these payments, Pahwa took money from one CC Thampi who is in turn inextricably linked the arms dealer Sanjay Bhandari and Robert Vadra.
Congress’ response to Rahul Gandhi’s own links with arms dealer Sanjay Bhandari coming to the fore was weak and rhetorical. They accepted that such a land deal took place, however, refused to comment on his links with arms dealer Sanjay Bhandari.
The theatre of absurd that Rahul Gandhi has unleashed on the Indian political scenario stinks of utter nonchalance when it comes to the nation and truth. What matters to Rahul Gandhi is staying politically relevant. To feature in the news by portals that have sold their pens and their souls long ago. The caravan has failed in the media space and Rahul Gandhi has failed politically. Both seem to be holding on to each other in an attempt to salvage their own careers. But like quicksand spares none, the nation, which has now woken up to the truth of propaganda that was used by Left portals and Congress, is unlikely to spare the incestuous club made up of political royalty and their pets in the media.
Editor, OpIndia.com since October 2017