General secretary of party in less than one month of joining politics

Ahmedabad, 9 March 2014

Lalji Desai who joined not only Congress party but politics itself less than one month ago(on 15 February) has been directly made state unit general secretary! This can be considered fastest possibe rise organizationally. ‘General secretary’ is next important position after president of party unit. There’s also another position of ‘Vice president’, but those in organization know that ‘General secretary’ is considered more important position compared to ‘Vice president’.

Coming back to Lalji Desai. He is one more instance of foreign funded NGO operator placed in politics.

Lalji Desai runs foreign funded organization Maldhari Rural Action Group(MARAG) with his wife Neeta Pandya.

We have couple of years data of foreign money transferred to MARAG’s Bank of India account(no.14335, Memnagar branch, Vijay char rasta, Ahmedabad), according to which, in year 2009-10 foreign fund of Rs. 16440994.00 was transferred to MARAG from Canada and Italy. Some other fund was transferred through India based foreign agencies. MARAG received Rs 87,47,350 from Italy, Rs 70,68,105 from India branches of foreign organizations and Rs 6,02,100 from Canada. All fund was sourced for the purpose of “rural development”.

In year 2010-11 Lalji Desai’s organization MARAG received Rs 1,12,66,365 in same bank account described above. While the sum of Rs 10,99,875 was received from Canada, the rest of the foreign fund of Rs 1,03,47,074 was sourced through Indian branches of foreign organizations such as Child Relief and You, Save the Children and Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation. We generally believe that Indian branches of ‘Save The Children’ and ‘Child Relief and You’ bring foreign funds to India for the benefits of children, however these organizations transferred funds worth millions to MARAG for the purpose of “rural development” according to official documents.

Last year our one reader reported on twitter that he saw an international conference organized by MARAG in Ahmedabad’s five-star hotel Courtyard Marriott.

Lalji earned fame after agitation against Maruti Suzuki’s proposed plant in Bechraji near Ahmedabad last year. The state government had to exclude some villages from proposed Special Investigation Region(SIR) following that agitation.

Madhusudan Mistry, Arvind Kejriwal etc are other examples of foreign funded NGO operators who joined politics and got prominent position in short time.