Corruption capital

By Jawahar T R Published on Sep 07, 2018 02:34 PM IST

TN is always Tinsel Nadu with its incurable obsession with cinema. It reigns as Tasmac Nadu, with the government itself running this booming business blessed by Bacchus, the Roman God of Wine himself. The present regime has made it a Tamasha Nadu what with the antics of Cabinet Ministers from CM downwards making the State a laughing stock (read Point Blank ‘Comedy Cabinet’).

TN for long has been Tainted Nadu thanks to endemic corruption for decades from a constable, clerk and councillor upward. The State has the unique distinction wherein sitting CMs, sitting Ministers, sitting Chief Secretary and other bureaucrats, sitting DGP and other cops, etc., have all come under the scanner of various investigative agencies - local and national. The TN police, which  once prided itself as the Scotland Yard of India, is now overwhelmed by the piling skeletons in its own backyard.

Homegrown agencies like DVAC and local police have all been ‘active’, as also national hounds like Enforcement Directorate, Income-Tax Department and CBI. Hospitable and all-welcoming TN now has few such guests to invite unless the scams grow so big that it might need Interpol, CIA, FBI, Mossad, etc.

Health is wealth and small wonder the Health Minister’s wealth has also come under frequent tests, trials and scanners. Dr Vijayabaskar tops the roster in the post-Jaya Corruption Cabinet, with virtually every agency calling on him in many scams. (Of course, there is no need to mention who topped in Jaya Cabinet.)

Gutkha was banned two years back for being most unhealthy to its users. But our Health Minister appears to have a different diagnosis and a well-known medicine, namely money, to make it perfectly ‘safe’. So, as the banned gutkha had a free run all over the State, the coffers of a Minister, several officials and even cops who are supposed to implement the ban, overflowed. Clearly, money is a greater intoxicant than gutkha. Like Tasmac, the government can actually sell such a money spinner as gutkha too. People be damned. Tobacco Nadu beckons.

Still, after I-T raids, cash seizures, CBI raids, etc., the sitting Minister continues to squat. So does a sitting DGP. A former top cop is also named in this killer racket. All this information, apparently, have been taken out of a diary used by the manufacturer of the gutkha. The government must now be wondering if they should have banned diaries instead of gutkha. About five have been arrested. Needless to add the sitting Minister and sitting cop are going about their business.

But then Dr VB is bacha. CM Edappadi is under DVAC investigation for corruption in highway contracts, PWD projects, etc., running to over Rs 4,000 crore, monitored by the High Court. A recent IT raid seems to have yielded quite a booty and the entities involved are owned by the CM’s son and sammandhi. What a coincidence!

Now, can the Deputy CM be far behind? For every EPS there will an unequal but similar OPS. The dicey CMDA portfolio is a Kamadhenu that is

being milked by family en masse. The three-time CM must have learnt quite a lot at the feet of the corruption goddesses who ruled and ruined the State and it is home alone time for him now to cash in on those profound teachings. We now know the purpose of the dhyana and dharmayudh that he launched at J’s tomb. What a thanksgiving!

The Madras High Court has ordered the DVAC to probe allegations of amassing wealth disproportionate to income (sounds familiar, right?) against dairy development Minister Rajenthra Bhalaji. The cloud of corruption hangs over almost everyone in the Cabinet. There are charges of over-invoicing on coal import causing a loss of Rs 6,000 crore against Electricity Minister Thangamani. Local Administration Minister Velumani’s name for indulging in corruption in civic and local bodies is part of local lore. And, finally, Health Minister, Dr VB, is being investigated for allegations of taking money for appointments, illegal quarrying, etc.

It is only after reading about such mind-boggling amounts that we realise what a rich State ours is. But then we are hurtling towards becoming a Theratha Nadu (Gone State) thanks to its elected guardians.

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