Kripashankar Singh: From selling vegetables to ‘assets of Rs 95 cr’, man who became face of Congress in Mumbai

Read the rise and fall of Kripashankar singh, from his humble origins in jaunpur to top congress leader in Mumbai to corruption accused.

Written by Sandeep A Ashar | Mumbai | Updated: May 5, 2015 7:52 am
Kripashankar, Kripashankar Singh, Kripashankar Singh chargesheet, Kripashankar Singh and his family members willingly incurred huge losses by investing in commodities, provided and procured unsecured loans to and from Bollywood personalities, top builders and politicians.

Former Maharashtra minister Kripashankar Singh’s eventful political journey has been one of a man who came to Mumbai and sold vegetables, went on to become the “go to” man for the Congress leadership for any party matter in Mumbai, and whose future now looks under a cloud following a chargesheet for disproportionate assets allegedly amassed over the years.

Read: Chargesheet lists Kripashankar Singh’s ways to ‘roll over’ cash

The chargesheet by a special investigation team claims Kripashankar and his family have amassed Rs 95.03 crore, of which Rs 18.96 crore is allegedly disproportionate. The chargesheet describes residential and commercial apartments, cars, unaccounted high-value transactions involving businessmen and Bollywood stars. The alleged scam involves Rs 320 crore.

Kripashankar, 64, who would one day become Mumbai Congress chief and minister of state (home) in Maharashtra, hails from Jaunpur. He came to Mumbai in 1971 , looking for a job after failing to clear standard XII. He initially made do with occasional work and lived in Rambharose Chawl in suburban Khar along with his brother, Shivshankar Singh, who was then with the state excise department.

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People who know Kripashankar since those days say he worked in a dairy firm besides selling vegetables. He reportedly likes to flaunt his humble beginnings; political leaders describe how often he would describe particularly the way he used to sell vegetables.

Kripashankar’s first permanent job was as a packer with a pharmaceutical firm. Simultaneously, he joined the Congress Seva Dal. He made steady progress to become a general secretary in Mumbai Congress. According to the SIT that probed him, his only known source of income at that time was from his agricultural property in Jaunpur.

Kripashankar Singh, EOW, congress, disproportionate assets case, assests case, mumbai news, mumbai newsline, city news, local news The PIL had alleged that Singh and his relatives had disproportionate assets worth over Rs 320 crore.

His first break came in 1988, when Pratibha Patil, later President of India and then heading the state Congress, elevated him to a party secretary. Kripashankar also became a partner in a Navi Mumbai-based firm, Sainath Motor Body Building, in which Pratibha’s son Rajendra Shekhawat was major partner.

The SIT has alleged that both Kripashankar and Shekhawat were incorporated as partners in the firm without investing any capital. “Kripashankar could not satisfactorily explain the reason or purpose for his induction as a partner in the firm that too without any investment. He also failed to explain satisfactorily about his role in the firm,” the chargesheet says. Both retired from the partnership in 2005.

By then, Kripashankar had cut his teeth firmly in politics. In the 1990s, he had become a trusted aide of late Congress president Sitaram Kesari. “Kripashankar used to hold a durbar of Congress workers then. Such was his clout with the leadership that state Congress leaders often used him as a channel to make their voices heard in Delhi,” a Congress veteran said.

First nominated to the Legislative Council in 1994, he became minister of state (home) in Vilasrao Deshmukh’s government in 1999, after getting elected from Santacruz. With Sonia Gandhi taking over the reins of the party, he is said to have become close to Ahmed Patel and Motilal Vora, and was effectively the leadership’s “go to” man in Mumbai. Kripashankar headed the Mumbai Congress between 2007 and 2011 before stepping down after the assets case first came up.

He also won friends in other parties. Following a threat perception to the late Bal Thackeray, Kripashankar, as the MoS (Home), had offered him a security cover; he likes to say how that won him the Shiv Sena leader’s admiration.

The PIL was filed in 2011, setting off his downfall. When The Indian Express contacted Kripashankar, he refused to comment on the controversy, saying “the matter is still in the court”. The chargeshseet mentions connections with Madhu Koda, the former Jharkhand CM and coal scam accused.

The party continued to bank on him for its affairs in Mumbai. Last year, when former industries minister Narayan Rane revolted against then chief minister Prithviraj Chavan, Kripashankar was one of the emissaries sent to pacify him. Kripashankar was also part of the committee that oversaw assembly poll preparations in Mumbai. He failed to retain his own seat. He campaigned actively for Rane in the Bandra (East) bypoll too, which Rane lost.

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  1. A
    May 6, 2017 at 11:01 am
    Its very rare that a politicain is made accused and chargesheet is filed. Hats off to the officers
    1. A
      May 5, 2015 at 11:43 am
      god help my india people are working hard their hard earn money is looted by corrupt politician god please give us polician like abraham lincoln and dont spare the politician who have looted public money
      1. A
        May 5, 2015 at 11:09 am
        Why only talk about Kripashankar Singh alone ? There are thousands of congress leaders who have looted public money/lands/plots and taking commission from Builders Corporate Sectors by virtue of their powers which they use illegally and became the richest people in country without education, talent.This is not alone with Congress leaders but also from other parties too.All of them know that with present executives and Indian judiciary no one is going to be punished or their ets will be confiscated.All leaders from different parties are helping each other indirectly while they are in ruling parties at states or Centre. All of them may pretend to quarrel in the name of poor people in emblies/Parliaments to show public and Aam Aadmi that they are dying for them but evening they come closure and hug each other. DUNIYA ZUKATI HAI KHALI ZUKANEWALA CHAHIYE.. For them to make poor people fool, is easy task and these leaders are always succeeding it easily . Mera Bharat Mahan Hai.
        1. A
          May 5, 2015 at 1:52 pm
          1988 to 2015 - 27 years career starting from zero selling vegetables - and now crores of worth - was the vigilance and income tax department sleeping ?? Why no action taken till date - along with him officers of these departments should also be prosecuted and mainly the LAW should be amended to give a free hand to these officers to nab such looters.
          1. B
            May 5, 2015 at 11:03 am
            Why only Kripashankar? In our corrupt political system we have Robrt Vadra "Damadji", Lalu Prasad, urappa, Mayawati, Mulayam Yadav etc. etc. I feel like laughing when these political parties tell that they are against the corruption. I remember once supreme court put an observation saying that " A few corrupt people should be hanged by the lamp post. But the million dollar question is "Who will bell the cat?" Our politics has become corrupt profession not good mission.Corruption in all walks of life. If someone talks about honesty and try to be honest, he is either shunted or killed. God knows what will happen to this country? Our freedom fighters and martyrs liberated Indian from British rule but we have been made slaves of own corrupt system.
          2. B
            Burjis Wadia
            May 5, 2015 at 7:59 am
            Are we Indians so shallow & sycophants all rolled into one that people like him are able to propel themselves to such disgraceful heights !!!
            1. D
              Damaru Prasad
              May 5, 2015 at 10:09 am
              It is ok to start from the street literally but to end up with unaccounted crores points out at the dirty politics patronized by fake his. now will the law so course that he deposits the ill-gotten money with the exchequer? anything short of that is miscarriage of justice. Modi are you listening or rather reading? when will court ask money from fake his?
              1. R
                May 5, 2015 at 10:08 am
                The answer for RaGa's new found interest in Construction /Housing is apparent. See the track records of Congis when in power in the states and at the centre. Adarsh housing scam, vadra - DLF scam, Kripashankar scam and so many other scams involving the state and central ministers. When all these were going on what was RaGa doing. It only shows that he is indulging purely in drama bazi and shedding crocodile tears and concern.. Nobody other his party sycophants will believe him.
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