Both the maternal and paternal grandfathers of Vijay Singla (seen here) were commission agents in the state.
Artiyas, or commission agents, make a living by charging farmers a fixed commission for arranging their meetings with buyers. It is a lucrative profession in agrarian states like Punjab. Singla continued the family tradition, only he allegedly arranged high-stakes meetings.
In Chandigarh's business circles, 42-year-old Singla is best known as a Union cabinet minister's close relative and, therefore, the access card to the corridors of power.
Singla was apprehended recently while accepting a bribe of Rs 90 lakh, apparently to swing a coveted Railway Board post for Mahesh Kumar, currently member (staff) of the Railway Board.
With CBI taking up the case, Singla suddenly found himself in the limelight, something he had deliberately shunned all these years.
Text: Komal Amit Gera & Vijay C Roy, Business Standard
PTI and AP Images