S. Jagathrakshakan

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S. Jagathrakshakan
S. Jagathrakshakan presenting the National Community Radio Award, at the 2nd National Community Radio Sammelan (1).jpg
Minister of State, New & Renewable Energy,Commerce and Industry
In office
2012-2013
Minister of State, Information and Broadcasting
In office
2009-2012
Member of Parliament, Lok Sabha
Assumed office
1999-2004

2009-2014

2019-
ConstituencyArakkonam
In office
1984–1989
ConstituencyChengalpattu
Member of Legislative Assembly
In office
1980–1984
ConstituencyUthiramerur

S. Jagathrakshakan (born 15 August 1950 in Kalingamali, Villupuram district in Tamil Nadu) is an Indian Tamil businessman and politician. He did his matriculation at Valudavur. He is a member of Lok Sabha of India from Arakkonam constituency of Tamil Nadu and has been elected from this constituency thrice since 1999. He was the minister of state for commerce and industry from November 2012 to March 2013.[1] He is also the chairman of Shree Balaji Medical College and Hospital. He is the owner of Dr. Rela Hospital and Institute. He has authored 30 books, one of which was released by Mother Teresa.

In his political career, Jagathrakshakan has been elected once to the Tamil Nadu state assembly during the 1980 elections and to the Lok Sabha during the 1984 elections from the Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (ADMK) party. He also headed the ADMK parliamentary party from 1985–89. He won the Arakkonam lok sabha constituency during 1999 and 2009 elections from the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) party. He started a Vanniyar(vanniyar kula sathriyan) caste based party called Veera Vanniyar Peravai in 2004, which became Jananayaga Munnetra Kazhagam in August 2004 and merged with DMK in 2009.

Jagathrakshakan has been a centre of controversy in various issues like Coal scam exposed in March 2012 where he is alleged to have utilized his political clout for illegal coal allocation for his company in 2007. He is believed to have amassed assets from 5 Crore in 2009 to 70 crores in 2011, which is the highest percentage rise of assets among all ministers in the central cabinet. In a sting operation conducted in June 2009, it was exposed that one of his medical colleges collected 20 lakh rupees for MBBS. He was elected to the Lok Sabha from Arakkonam Lok Sabha constituency as part of the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) in the 2019 Indian general election.

Career[edit]

Jagathrakshakan was first elected to the Tamil Nadu assembly in 1980 when he contested from Uthiramerur as a candidate of Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (ADMK) under the leadership of MG Ramachandran.[2] He is one of the first political leaders to establish a professional college. He started the Bharath Institute of Science and Technology in 1984, which later went on to become Bharath University in 2003. The branches of the college were opened in Pondicherry and Karnataka.[3]

He was first elected to the Lok Sabha in 1985 from Arakkonam constituency and he served as the leader of ADMK parliamentary Party. After MGR's death, he sided the ADMK faction headed by MGR's wife Janaki and R.M.Veerappan. He contested from Uthiramerur constituency in 1989 state assembly elections ending up with fourth position.[2][3] During the 1999 parliamentary elections, he got a Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) ticket through R.M.Veerappan's MGR Kazhagam and won from Arakkonam constituency. He started a Vanniyar caste based party called Veera Vanniyar Peravai in 2004, which in August 2004, became Jananayaga Munnetra Kazhagam. He supported the Congress-DMK combine during the 2004 general elections, but did not contest. In 2009, he merged the party with DMK.[3] He won the 2009 election from Arakkonam constituency as a candidate of DMK by defeating Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK) candidate and former Union Minister of State for Railways R. Velu in Arakkonam.[2][4] He became the minister of state for information and broadcasting and later went on to become the minister of new and renewable energy in November 2012.[5] He did not take charge as a minister and after talks with Karunanidhi, the party chief, he was allocated the portfolio of Commerce and industry on 2 November 2012.[1] DMK pulled out of the ruling UPA on 20 March 2013 following widespread protests in Tamil Nadu against the central government for not taking up the concerns of Tamils in Sri Lanka in the UN resolution against the alleged human rights violation against Tamils by Sri Lankan government. Jagathrakshakan resigned his ministerial post along with other members of the party.[6][7]

Jagathrakshakan married Anusuya on 9 September 1973 and the pair have a son and a daughter. He has visited and been part of visiting delegation to various countries. His primary interests are providing education to the down-trodden, helping orphans and physically challenged. He started a research organisation called Alwarkal aaiyuvumaiyam dedicated to the promotion of Tamil culture and art. He has authored 30 books, one of which was released by Mother Teresa. His favourite past times include playing volleyball.[2]

Elections contested and positions held[edit]

Elections Constituency Party contested Result Vote percentage Opposition Candidate Opposition Party Opposition vote percentage
1980 Tamil Nadu state assembly election Uthiramerur ADMK Won 48.44 S.Ramadoss INC 46.67[8]
1984 Indian general election Chengalpattu ADMK Won 54.09 M.V.Ramu DMK 43.5[9]
1989 Tamil Nadu state assembly election Uthiramerur ADMK (Janaki) Lost 9.89 K. Sundar DMK 34.71[10]
1999 Indian general election Arakkonam DMK Won 47.72 K. V. Thangkabalu INC 34.55[11]
2009 Indian general election Arakkonam DMK Won 48.66 R. Velu PMK 35.79[12]
2014 Indian general election Sriperumbudur DMK Lost 36.4 K. N. Ramachandran AIADMK 42.21[13]
2019 Indian general election Arakkonam DMK Won 57.06 A.K. MOORTHY PMK 29.14[14]
  • 1984: Elected to Tamil Nadu State Assembly for the 1st time; Chairman of Environment Committee
  • 1985-1989: Elected to Lok Sabha (eighth) for the first time; Leader of ADMK Parliamentary party
  • 1987–88: Member of committee of official languages
  • 1999-2004: Elected to Lok Sabha (thirteenth) for the second time
  • 1999-2000: Member of committee of external affairs and human resources development
  • 2000 onwards: Member of consultative committee of the ministry of heavy industries and public enterprises
  • May 2009: Elected to Lok Sabha (Fifteenth) for the third time
  • June 2009-28 October 2012:Minister of State, Information and Broadcasting[5]
  • 28 October 2012 – 1 November 2013:Minister of state, New and Renewable energy[2]
  • 2 November 2012 – 20 March 2013:Minister of state, Commerce and Industry[1]

Controversies[edit]

Jakathrakshakan is alleged to have garnered a distillery license using his political clout during his second tenure as MP in 1999. There were also allegations in the discrepancy of age in his election affidavit and his university website. After becoming a minister of information and broadcasting, there were allegations that he was trying to float a TV channel and an English newspaper, both of which were not established.[3]

Multifold increase in personal wealth[edit]

As per official declaration, his assets has increased from 5 Crore in 2009 to 70 crores in 2011. This is the highest percentage rise for property among all ministers in the central cabinet.[15][16] Jagathrakshakan is the founder of Chennai-based Accord Group with interests in Hospitality, Pharmaceuticals, Liquor Manufacturing, and Education.[17][18]In education space, he owns various colleges under the trust Bharath Institute of Higher Education and Research (BIHER).[19]

Capitation fee sting operation[edit]

In a sting operation conducted by Times of India in June 2009, it was exposed that one the medical colleges founded by him collected 20 lakh rupees for MBBS admission in violation of Supreme Court order and State legislation.[20]

Coal mining scam allegations[edit]

In September 2012, several news reports alleged that his family is a part of a company named JR Power Gen Pvt Ltd which was awarded a coal block in Orissa in 2007. It was the same company which formed a joint venture with a public sector company, Puducherry Industrial Promotion Development and Investment Corporation (PIPDIC), on 17 January 2007. Barely five days after, PIPDIC was allotted a coal block. According to the MoU, JR Power enjoyed a stake in this allotment. However, JR Power had no expertise in thermal power, iron and steel, or cement, the key sectors for consumption of coal. Later, in 2010, JR Power sold 51% stake to KSK Energy Ventures, an established player with interests in the energy sector. The rights for the use of the coal block thus passed to KSK.[21][22] Reacting to this, Jagathrakshakan admitted to getting a coal block, and said that, "It is true that we got a coal allocation but it was a sub-contract with Puducherry government and then we gave it away to KSK company. Now, we have got nothing to do with the allocation but if the government wants to take back the allocation it can do so."[23]

Foreign Direct Investment in Sri Lanka[edit]

In March 2019, Sri Lanka's BOI (Board of Investment) made an announcement regarding the $3.85 billion plan to build an oil refinery in Hambantota.[24][25] The investor was reported as Silver Park International PTE Ltd registered in Singapore, which has as its Directors Jegath Rakshagan Sundeep Anand, Jagathrakshakan Sri Nisha and Jagathrakshakan Anusuya - the son, daughter and wife of Jagathrakshakan Swamikannu.[26][27] It was also reported that Jagathrakshakan Swamikannu was a Director of the company from June 2017 to September 2018. Silver Park International Pte Ltd, is said to be investing 70% of the share capital — a total of $1887 million — in the project valued at a total of $3.85 billion. It was also reported that Jagathrakshakan along with his family was in Sri Lanka at the deal signing. This had led to news agencies calling for an explanation from the DMK on the source of funds, especially given Jagathrakshahan's chequered past.[28] On 12 Sep 2020, Enforcement Directorate seized properties of Jagathrakshakan worth Rs.89.1 crores, due to violation of Foreign Exchange Management Act regulations, in relation to illegal acquisition, holding and transfer of foreign security in Silver Park International PTE Ltd.[29]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c PTI (2 November 2012). "Jagathrakshakan shifted to Commerce and Industry". The Hindu. Retrieved 22 November 2013.
  2. ^ a b c d e "Biographical sketch at Indian Parliament website". National Informatics Centre. Retrieved 22 November 2013.
  3. ^ a b c d Mohan, Gopu (8 September 2012). "The businessman-politician who finds himself in coal row". Chennai. Retrieved 22 November 2013.
  4. ^ "Vellore voters prove predictions wrong". The Hindu. Chennai, India. 18 May 2009. Archived from the original on 21 May 2009. Retrieved 22 November 2013.
  5. ^ a b "Profile of Member of Parliament". National Informatics Centre. Retrieved 22 November 2013.
  6. ^ Ghildiyal, Subodh. "Alagiri snubs dad's confidant". The Times of India. New Delhi. Archived from the original on 3 December 2013. Retrieved 10 November 2013.
  7. ^ C., Raja Mohan (25 March 2013). "Sorry chapter of M K Alagiri performance as Union minister". The Indian Express. New Delhi. Retrieved 10 November 2013.
  8. ^ Statistical report on Tamil Nadu Assembly general elections 1980, p. 38
  9. ^ Statistical report on Indian general elections 1984, p. 38
  10. ^ Statistical report on Tamil Nadu Assembly general elections 1989, p. 260
  11. ^ Statistical report on Indian general elections 1999, p. 224
  12. ^ Statistical report on Indian general elections 2009, p. 344
  13. ^ "Statistical report on General elections, 2014 to the 16th Lok Sabha". Election Commission of India. 2014. Retrieved 31 May 2014.
  14. ^ "Statistical report on General elections, 2019 to the 17th Lok Sabha". Election Commission of India. 2019. Retrieved 30 July 2019.
  15. ^ "Declaration of assets and liabilities by members of Lok Sabha" (PDF). PM India. 2011. Retrieved 22 November 2013.
  16. ^ S, Karthick (23 May 2013). "Perks of power: India's less known but moneyed politicians". The Economic Times. Retrieved 22 November 2013.
  17. ^ "Accord Group enters pharma business, targets sales in 18 states". Business Standard. 12 March 2020.
  18. ^ "About Us". Accord Pharma. Retrieved 30 June 2020.
  19. ^ "Who we are?". Bharath Institute of Higher Education and Research. Retrieved 30 June 2020.
  20. ^ Narayan, Pushpa (3 June 2009). "UPA minister's medical college wants Rs 20L donation". The Times of India. Archived from the original on 24 October 2012. Retrieved 22 November 2013.
  21. ^ "Coalgate: Now, DMK leader in the dock". Zee News. 7 September 2012. Retrieved 7 September 2012.
  22. ^ "Coal scam: DMK minister comes under fire". Hindustan Times. 7 September 2012. Archived from the original on 7 September 2012. Retrieved 7 September 2012.
  23. ^ "UPA minister's kin linked to coal block allocation deal". The Times of India. 7 September 2012. Archived from the original on 9 September 2012. Retrieved 7 September 2012.
  24. ^ "BOI Statement Regarding Oil Refinery Project in Hambantota". Invest Sri Lanka. Board of Investment Sri Lanka. Retrieved 21 March 2019.
  25. ^ "Sri Lanka's BOI clarifies status of investment in Oil Refinery Project in Hambantota". Colombo Page. ColomboPage News Desk.
  26. ^ "DMK's Jagathrakshakan Swamikannu travelled to Sri Lanka for record FDI oil refinery deal signing". The Economic Times. ET Bureau. 24 March 2019.
  27. ^ "DMK leader Jagathrakshakan's family linked to record FDI in Sri Lanka". The Hindu. 22 March 2019.
  28. ^ "DMK leader Jagathrakshakan's links to Sri Lanka's 'biggest' FDI deal, explained". The News Minute. 23 March 2019.
  29. ^ "FEMA violation: ED seizes DMK MP S Jagathrakshakan's properties". The Times of India. 12 September 2020.

References[edit]