Friday, May 25, 2007


Saharashri Subroto Roy's is a story from rags to riches. Rather, from a rickety scooter to a fleet of aeroplanes.

He has vision. A scooter-riding chit-fund seller, Subroto Roy of Gorakhpur during the 1970s has grown into a global Goliath, thanks to that vision. Saharashri Subroto Roy, if you please.

They say he has a knack to spot the contours of any virgin territory/terrain faster than many hawks put together. This sounds preposterous to most people who do not know him. Visit Lonavala's picturesque Amby Valley if you refuse to believe this assertion.

Reliable observers say valuable prime land all over UP has been extensively surveyed, methodically carved out and acquired by the Sahara India Parivar group of companies.

Several Sahara townships have sprung up on paper, all over UP. Project Gangotri and the Sahara 5000 acres super-prime land between Kanpur and Lucknow is just one example.

The huge, historic Bareilly jail campus is located in the most coveted and prestigious Civil Lines, Cantonment, Bareilly. Its takeover in Sahrashri's master plan was almost botched up. Why did Mulayam have to lose to Mayawati? Bad luck!


Lucknow also boasts of one huge, new Saharaganj, rival to the world-famous Hazratganj.

Interestingly, the famed Sahrashahr is situated on the banks of the Gomti in Lucknow. It is a sprawling landscape spread over hundreds of acres of virgin territory.

Recall the most ostentatious wedding of Saharashri's two sons some time ago? The most lavish wedding ever held in India? This is that famous place.

Yes, that very Saharashahr property's nakshas (plans and maps) have not been formally sanctioned by the Lucknow Development Authority till date. Chief town planner Goel was removed for raising objections.

Chief Minister Mulayum Singh allowed all the constructions to grow and got his ministers to sanction/legalise/regularise the arrangement.

Virtually all of Uttar Pradesh waits and watches with bated breath to see how Mayawati will handle this sensational case. She has the capability and the power to re-open the Lucknow Saharashahr case afresh.

The question doing the rounds in UP is: Does she have the guts, willpower and integrity to do it?

Small cases she has opened up. But this one case will involve tremendous moral strength and determination.


According to those in the know, Sahara has taken possession of huge areas of land in Noida. Their market value/price runs into hundreds, maybe thousands, of crores of rupees.

With Mayawati's advent, some rash optimists predict there may be some efforts at investigating those purchases.

Veteran sceptics scoff at the rash optimists. The doubting Thomases seem to know the power and influence of the Sahara India Parivar.

In Dadri, Bulandshahr, farmers were encouraged to join in the grand dream fulfilment of building Uttam Pradesh.

The compensation paid to the Dadri farmers by the UP government was Rs 150 per square foot. Thereafter, the UP government acquired that very land.

And what happened to the land so acquired?

It was hived off to Anil Ambani's group.

Whether the Dadri power plant finally takes off or not is to be seen. The electricity shortage in UP has been a perennial problem which Anil Ambani has promised to solve.


Mayawati has a huge appetite for power. Cynics cite the popular UP saying, 'Haathi ke daant khaane ke aur hote hain, dikhaane ke aur hote hain (An elephant has different teeth for eating, different teeth for display).'

A general election is round the corner. Her teams are methodically being put in place for that election. Election expenses are rising by the second. The Congress party has failed to control/contain inflation and the ever-spiralling price rise.

Saharashri Subroto Roy can take her on, and fight on any front she chooses. He is determined to go to any extent to protect his friends.

How Mayawati reacts needs to be watched closely.


The battle-lines are drawn. On one hand there is the intrepid, mighty, all-powerful Mayawati. Pitched against her is Amar Singh, Amitabh Bachchan, Anil Ambani and Mulayam Singh's dearest friend, philosopher and guide, the ever-resourceful Saharashri Subroto Roy, with his mammoth muscle and money power.

What she does to deliver results will also decide her fate in the next election.