Suresh Gopi’s Audi registered in Pondy: Kerala BJP goes ouch
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s demonetisation has found able defenders among BJP workers who parrot their leader in saying that this was a fight against black money and corruption. They also mock the deaths of the over 55 people in demonetisation queues, saying only people who stashed black money were affected by the scrapping of Rs 1000 and Rs 500 notes.
But the statements of BJP leaders in Kerala justifying demonetisation drew widespread criticism in the state. Kummanam Rajasekharan, the state BJP chief, touched a raw nerve among Keralites when he said the ban would create problems for those who spend money lavishly. Soon enough, the multi-crore wedding of the daughter of Karnataka leader-mining baron G Janardhana Reddy, was attended by many important BJP leaders, mocking Kummanam’s lavish spending statement.
With all this in the background, the newest entrant into the black money minefield is actor Suresh Gopi, who is considered the BJP’s face in its fight against black money. Gopi, the BJP-nominated Rajya Sabha MP, is finding himself being held under close scrutiny for his multi-lakh Audi car.
PoliMix, a TV satire by MediaOne channel, has shown Gopi’s Audi Q7 with Pondicherry registration plates. Being a union territory, Pondicherry or Puducherry has the least registration charges in the country compared to states like Kerala. Mahe, a Pondicherry enclave, is on the Malabar coast, surrounded by Kerala.
People with undeclared (read Black) money buy luxury cars from union territories like Pondicherry or Chandigarh to capitalise on the least registration expense after spending a bomb to buy the imported car in the first place.
In order to avoid the evasion in excise/registration, the law was changed including a provision saying the vehicle must be registered in the Regional Traffic Office (RTO) in the area of the owner. But data says that the actor was even exempted from this provision.
The Audi car issue of Suresh Gopi was first pointed out by Facebook users Renish Pn. Deepak Sankaranarayanan.
(Both the posts are in Malayalam)
Though it has left Gopi a tad embarrassed, the Kerala BJP’s talk of black money, corruption and all has ended up sounding empty to Keralites.
- Suresh Gopi