PRITAM SENGUPTA writes from Delhi: Rajeev Shukla, the journalist who began his career as a lowly reporter in the Hindi daily Northern India Patrika in Kanpur in 1978 before turning to politics in 2000, is to become a minister in the Manmohan Singh government this evening.
The 52-year-old will be the minister of State in charge of parliamentary affairs.
Shukla, a member of the Rajya Sabha from his home-state Uttar Pradesh, earned his journalistic spurs during his three-year stint in the late 1980s at the weekly Hindi magazine Ravivar, where under its then editor Udayan Sharma, he broke a story on the former prime minister V.P. Singh.
Singh, a bugbear of the then prime minister Rajiv Gandhi on the Bofors issue, had signed away large tracts of land he held as the “Raja of Manda”. Shukla reported that Singh’s wife had objected to the sale, saying he was not in his right mental balance at the time.
That story propelled Shukla into the Congress orbit.
Shukla later held several senior editorial positions later in the ABP-owned Sunday and The Sunday Observer, which had been purchased by Dhirubhai Ambani‘s Reliance Industries.
The arrival of satellite television saw Shukla host a weekly interview programme on Zee called Rubaru, before he branched off to launch his own production house called BAG Films (BAG for Bhagwan, Allah, God) with wife Anuradha Prasad (sister of BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad) in tow.
The couple now own a news channel (News24), an entertainment channel (E24), a radio station (Dhamaal 24), and a school of media and convergence studies.
Shukla entered the Rajya Sabha in 2000 as a member of the short-lived Uttar Pradesh Loktantrik Congress, winning votes disporportionate to his political lineage and vintage from the BJP, Congress and the BSP. His vote tally set tongues wagging in Lucknow.
Venkitesh Ramakrishnan of Frontline magazine reported:
“The grapevine said during the run-up to the elections that two powerful industrial groups backed Shukla.”
Shukla soon become a prominent functionary in the Board of Cricket Control in India (BCCI), rising to be vice-president. DNA reported that a firmed owned by him had bought a stake in Shah Rukh Khan‘s Kolkata Knight Riders, at whose matches Rahul Gandhi has been one of the more famous faces from the VIP box.
When Shah Rukh Khan was detained in the United States in the run-up to his film My Name is Khan in 2009, he famously said that the first person he called to bail him out was Rajeev Shukla.
a manipulator par excellence he is sure to be a hit as parliamentary affairs minister. i hope he doesn’t become a role model for other journalists
why r u demonising him yar, he started from the scratch to rose to such a high level.
U could call him manipulator or a fixer, but cant ignore his networking skills. Why can’t he a role model; for other journalists.
ella ok, “lowly” yaake?
Interesting guy. Nice writeup. Though I raised an eyebrow too at “lowly reporter”. Is there something else we should know?
I just wona appreciate Sir Rajiv Shukla, how he started his carrier as a generalist and Become Minister.We should learn a lot from these type of celebrities,nd we should look positive in our life nd should be optimistic.I wish he must do good for our country and live long n healthy. God bless him.
Take a lesson from him, how you can become big by Support of Politicians.
i need shri rajeev’s help will he help me
rajiv Shukla, one of the most corrupt congress men, Its very strange how our society allows such people to reach the top.Dont know why is he one of the chiefs in BCCI and still a minister in UPA government.
He is dalal in pure hindi
Chaat chaat ke Aami kaha se kaha pahuch jata hai !
Do take ka bewkoof reporter sala, aaj chutiye bate karta hai tv pe…