Ram Achal Rajbhar

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From the archives of The Times of India May 23, 2013

Ashish Tripathi and Swati Mathur

How to become a billionaire in five years

Ram Achal Rajbhar, the president of BSP’s Uttar Pradesh unit became a billionaire in the five years between 2007-2012 when his party was in power in the state and he served as the transport minister. In his affidavit filed in the 2007 assembly election, when he contested from the Akbarpur seat, Rajbhar had declared assets worth Rs 1.6 crore. He had a house worth Rs 37 lakh, agriculture land worth Rs 25 lakh, non-agriculture land worth Rs 50 lakh besides bank deposits, jewellery, firearms and vehicles.

But in 2012, the Lokayukta and vigilance department investigation found that he and his family had amassed assets of over Rs 20 crore. What’s more, the Ram Awadh Foundation Trust constituted by Rajbhar in his father’s named was found to have assets worth another Rs 10.50 crore. He gave a list of 493 persons claiming them to be donors. However, upon verification, most donors were found to be below the poverty line. Rajbhar has been indicted by the Lokayukta for having assets disproportionate to his known sources of income. The vigilance department has also lodged an FIR against the BSP leader under the Prevention of Corruption Act.

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