PGurus is starting a series on the (conveniently) not-debated portions of the controversial Niira Radia tapes. The first article is on the style of funding by Tata Group to political parties and the hypocrisy of Ratan Tata to hide it.
Ratan Tata used all his money to stop the surge of his enemy Mamta Banerjee in Lok Sabha election in 2009, in which she bagged 19 seats out of 42 in West Bengal.
Ratan Tata was a worried man after Lok Sabha elections in 2009. The Trinamool Congress (TMC) Supremo comes out with clinching evidence on Tata Group’s electoral trust funding the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI(M)) and other Left parties in West Bengal. The conversation between Ratan Tata’s Private Secretary Venkat and Niira Radia on May 29, 2009, gives the picture of how Tata Group covertly funds all political parties and their method of funding.
We start the series with this conversation, as the Country is witnessing elections in 5 states including the biggest, Uttar Pradesh. Ratan Tata used all his money to stop the surge of his enemy Mamta Banerjee in Lok Sabha election in 2009, in which she bagged 19 seats out of 42 in West Bengal. This was the beginning of the surge of TMC, which got people’s backing after its fight with the ruling CPI(M) over the Nandigram massacre. TMC then took on Tata’s Singur plant for Nano cars. After the election results, Mamta Banerjee produced some payout data and receipts of Tata-controlled Electoral Trusts’ funding to CPI(M).
The Radia tapes tell us that Ratan Tata wanted to print reports that the Electoral Trust has no relation with Tata Group. This shows how disingenuous Tata was. In this conversation between Radia and Venkat, both say all Tata Group companies’ money goes to The Electoral Trust to fund the political parties.
The payment will be in two instalments.
As per the tapes, Tata, asked one Dinesh Vyas, a Supreme Court lawyer and Trustee of The Electoral Trust to issue a statement that they have no link with Tata Group!
Another interesting thing is that Tata enters an agreement with political parties on the mode of payment. The payment will be in two installments. First one will be before polling and the second payment will be given only after the results and it will vary according to the performance by the political parties. As per the conversation between Radia and Venkat, all parties, including Sonia Gandhi agreed on this method of payments. Only CPI(M) and Mayawati’s Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) did not agree for this two instalment method by Tata. These parties demanded full payment before polling.
The transcripts of the conversation are published below: