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Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Congress MLC candidate Yusuf Shariff aka ‘Scrap Babu’, a known rowdy, declares assets worth Rs. 1.7k cr: Karnataka

Congress leader Yusuf Shariff, contesting elections to Karnataka Legislative Council from Bangalore Urban seat, has declared moveable & immovable assets worth Rs 97.98 cr & 1643.59 cr respectively & liabilities of Rs 67.24 cr in his affidavit submitted to ECI.

This means the total value of his assets is a staggering INR 1741.57 crores. If elected, he would become the richest legislator in the state. Moreover, a News 18 report says his assets are worth Rs 4000 crore, over double what he has declard.

Yusuf Shariff also goes by the monikers Scrap Babu, aka Gujari Babu, aka D Babu aka KGF Babu. He is a scrap trader and realtor who has studied till Class 5. He hails from a poor family in Kolar, and was the eldest of 14 siblings.

He owns many fancy cars including a Rolls Royce Phantom which once belonged to Bollywood star Amitabh Bachchan. Shariff has appealed an Income Tax levy of Rs 13.4 crore in dues, which is pending hearing. Although Shariff claims that his wealth has been amassed through legal means, his detractors claim he stole gold from govt. owned KGF (Kolar Gold Fields), and looted money using muscle power. 

In 2019, Yusuf Shariff was arrested by Central Crime Branch (CCB) sleuths of Bengaluru in a cheating case filed against him and his real-estate firm Umrah Developers by another developer. The police had searched his residence and office on Richmond Road, and reportedly found documents related to properties worth several crores.

The case was registered against him by Prajwal Shenava, director of Indraprastha Shelters Private Ltd., in Ashoknagar police station for allegedly cheating the firm to the tune of Rs 7 crore. Shariff had sold government land to Indraprastha for development in 2011, and also mortgaged the same land to another developer using forged documents, police said.  

Shariff had also duped a number of people by selling them land with the help of forged documents, and had other criminal cases against him, police added.

Soon after his arrest, Sharif caused a ruckus at the CCB office in Chamarajpet. He reportedly screamed at the sleuths, saying he would get all the policemen who raided his house suspended and strip them of their uniforms. He also threatened to shut down the CCB.  It was at this juncture that Sharif grabbed a pair of scissors from the table of a policeman and tried to stab himself. He also roughed up some CCB sleuths. 

A separate case was then registered against him at the Cottonpet police station under IPC sections 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace) and 353 (assault or criminal force to deter a public servant from discharging his duty.

In 2016, Shariff had another run in with the authorities. He was arrested by the CCB police after he entered the office of the Principal Secretary of Revenue Department and started video recording the bureaucrat without his permission. He also dragged a woman undersecretary, who tried to stop his video recording, and molested her.

As per a Deccan Chronicle report dated April 2, 2016 –

“The accused (Shariff) is known to visit government offices in connection with his business and create nuisance. As he was involved in several such cases, a rowdy sheet was opened against him at the Halasuru Gate police station in 2015.

“He was booked under various cases in five police stations in the city, including a POCSO case in High Grounds police station, and two other cases in Anekal and Robertson police station in KGF,” the police said.”

In 2014, Shariff’s wife lodged a criminal complaint against him for brutal assault – hitting her on the face, beating her with a belt, kicking her and threatening to kill her while throwing her out of their house.

Of the 121 candidates in fray for the December 10 elections for 25 seats in the Legislative Council, many are crorepatis with their declared assets much higher than MLAs and ministers. Most of the candidates claim to be from agricultural background, own factories or are into real estate business which is said to be the reason for their huge assets. They own large tracts of agricultural land, a number of houses and apartments and fancy cars. But none of the other candidates come close to matching Yusuf Shariff ‘s ‘unique’ track record.

As per this News18 report, Yusuf Shariff got the MLC poll ticket through party MLA Zamir Ahmed Khan, a close associate of former Karnataka chief minister Siddaramaiah. He is considered a high-potential funder for the party.

It might sound unpalatable to some, but the Yusuf Shariffs of the world are the backbone of our much-touted multi-party democracy, especially of the ‘secular’ parties for whom national goals and ideology are just a facade to grab power, which opens endless opportunities to loot. A major overhaul of our system of government and Constitution is overdue.

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