Kamalnayan Bajaj - page 41

37
KamalnayanBajaj –Architect of theBajajGroup
production restrictions. Lobbying
by competitors likeUPScooters and
Automobile Products of India fanned
official anxiety about the power of big
business. It’s not easy being theNo1.
Politicianswanted the scooters as
badlyas theordinaryman in the
street –but refused tomake life easy
forKamalnayan– evenafter hepassed
away.OnAugust 13, 1976, amember
of parliament alleged in theLokSabha
that during the1971general election,
BajajAutogaveRs. 1,20,000and some
scooters to theopposition candidate in
theRaeBareilly constituency.
Rahul jumped tohis father’s defence
in a letter toPranabMukherjee, the
thenUnionMinister of State for
Finance. As the company’s chairman
in 1971,Kamalnayanhad certainly
made priority releases from the
manufacturer’s discretionary quota but
only against payment of the full price,
Rahul clarified. Scooterswere released,
among others, topolitical friends,
both in the ruling and opposition
parties. AsKamalnayanbelonged to
the opposition, Rahul added, some
couldhave had connectionwith the
opposition candidate inRaeBareilly.
In the event,George Fernandes, as
industriesminister in the JanataParty
administration (1977-79), allowedBajaj
Auto todouble its licensed capacity to
160,000 two-wheelers. But it was too
little, too late forKamalnayan.
Anews itemaboutBajaj scooters ina local Americannewspaper
1...,31,32,33,34,35,36,37,38,39,40 42,43,44,45,46,47,48,49,50,51,...124
Powered by FlippingBook