When you talk to people in the know, all kinds of stories about politicians come out. So, I cannot believe that these stories are totally unknown. Of course, the smart ones cover their tracks well through front companies and people. Much of the wealth is held in the form of land banks. As someone put it the other day, almost every politician worth his name in Maharashtra has one or more of the following three: sugar mill / co-operative bank, college, power plant. The big daddies in the state would easily make it to the top of the Forbes Richest Indians list.
Many times the corruption is quite blatant. The telecom sector has been sucked dry by various Ministers over successive decades right in front of our eyes, and we haven’t done anything about it. Look at what happened with the new operators who were literally handpicked for additional 2G licences. What happened after the election? The same person got the same ATM (Anytime Money) ministry even after it had become clear that his actions cost the country tens of thousands of crores.
In Maharashtra, it took a couple weeks to form a ministry because of the wrangling for ministerial posts. The worth of a Minister is linked to the money that his ministry has control over. There was no discussion on a vision for the future, just a battle to control the spending – and therefore the siphoning.
I am not saying anything new. We all know this. We just turn a blind eye to it all.