A special CBI court in Jodhpur in Rajasthan has ordered a case against five people, including former Union Minister Arun Shourie. The court has given this order in the case of selling Laxmi Vilas Hotel at a much lower price than the market price. The court said that the hotel, which was worth more than two and a half crores of rupees, was sold with only one and a half million rupees. It should be noted that Arun Shourie was the disinvestment minister in the Vajpayee government, during which the ministry approved the deal of many big government companies. Now he has come under target with one of these deals.
Shourie was well supported by Prime Minister Vajpayee. For this reason, Shourie accelerated the path of disinvestment and struck many big companies. This can be gauged from the fact that on May 14, 2002, Maruti Udyog Ltd. Disinvestment of KP was also approved. The government of India completely lost ownership in the Maruti Udyog in 2006 after two phases of disinvestment. Then there was talk of disinvestment of BPCL and HPCL but after heavy opposition from the then Petroleum Minister, both these companies remained with the government.
There is no doubt that the then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee did not care at all to become an anti-people image and sold thousands of crores of rupees to the government exchequer. Hindustan Zinc and Bharat Aluminum (BALCO) are among the government companies that went into private hands during Vajpayee’s reign. The Tata group then took over CMC Ltd. And Foreign Communication Corporation Ltd. (VSNL). The disinvestment process went on unabated and the state-run FMCG company Modern Food Industries, Indian Petrochemicals Corp (IPCL), Pradeep Phospets, Jessop & Co were also given to the private sector.