BENGALURU: At a time when R. Roshan Baig was making moves to project himself as the most prominent Muslim leader in the State, which was challenged by Housing Minister B.Z. Zameer Ahamed Khan, the IMA scam has provided ammunition for his detractors.
Though IMA Chairman Mohammed Mansoor Khan was close to all the Muslim community leaders, cutting across the party lines, naming Mr Baig in his last audio clipping has landed him in a soup.
After the demise of Jaffer Sharief, Mr Baig was a serious contender to fill his place as community leader. However, Mr Zameer, who is close to former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah migrated to Congress and a berth in the coalition government.
Mr Baig was upset by Zameer’s entry into the party and it only got compounded when the latter was made a minister, denying him cabinet berth.
Since then, Mr Baig was waiting for his chance to strike back at Mr Zameer and Mr Siddaramaiah, who he felt were blocking his political career.
Soon after the Parliament election results, Mr Baig took on Mr Siddaramaiah, KPCC President Mr Dinesh Gundurao and others, saying that their arrogance resulted in the party’s dismal performance.
This also raised the speculations that Mr Baig was planning to join BJP. However, it was a difficult argument to convince. Earlier during S.M. Krishna period, BJP had hounded him when Telgi fake stamp paper racket broke out.
By targeting Mr Siddaramaiah and other Congress leaders, Mr Baig was indirectly targeting Mr Zameer. At the same time, Baig’s detractors were collecting evidences to prove that he had worked against Bengaluru Central candidate Rizwan Arshad.
It is at this point of time that Mansoor’s audio clipping surfaced and it came in handy for Congress leaders, who promptly suspended him from the party.
Though Mr Mansoor was in touch with almost all the community leaders, posing as philanthropist, he was more close to Mr Baig. He has also taken over Urdu newspaper Siyasat, which was headed by Mr Baig.
During previous Assembly elections, he also started hobnobbing with Mr Zameer and other political leaders from community. During that time, Mr Zameer had some business deal with Mansoor. Later, Mr Zameer had sold his piece of land to him.
Mansoor had funded most of the community leaders during the elections. He used to ensure that the political leaders were invited at functions attended by him. But he was shrewd enough to hold the cards close to his chest, when it came revealing depth of his relationship with them, sources said.
Officers investigating the case say that the Non-banking Financial Institutions (NBFC) has gained popularity among the Muslim community after fall of Amanath Cooperative Bank in early 2000. There are many such institutions in Bengaluru.
With the investors money, Mansoor adopted a school, started hospital and a chain of jewellery outlets. He had also started perfume business.
However, after he came under the Enforcement Directorate lens, his operations got affected and inflow of fresh funds also slowed down.
A desperate Mansoor had sought the help of Mr Baig. Sources said that even an IPS officer had assured to help him with ED case. However, when both failed, Mansoor fled the country, leaving behind the controversial audio clipping, they added.