Who is Kartikeya Sharma?
Media baron Kartikeya Sharma got his start in politics as a elected directly to the Rajya Sabha in a fierce contest on Friday for Haryana’s two seats.
Sharma, 41, is the brother of Manu Sharma, who was convicted in the Jessica Lal murder case, and the son of expelled Congress leader and former Union minister Venod Sharma.
A businessman and media owner by profession, he received his B.Sc. (Honours) in Business Administration from Oxford University and his Masters of Business Administration from King’s College London.
He established the iTV network in 2007. His news network has become one of India’s leading news networks which operates various English and Hindi news channels and vernacular dailies. The iTV network’s national channel NewsX and regional channels such as India News Haryana, India News Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, India News Punjab and India News Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand, have gained dominance in these Hindi-speaking regions.
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In total, under the iTV network, there are three national news channels, two newspapers, five regional news channels and two online portals with over 3,000 employees.
Kartikeya also holds stakes in several five star hotels in Gurgaon, Delhi, Chandigarh and Punjab.
Kartikeya is married to Aishwarya Sharma, the daughter of former Haryana President Vidhan Sabha, Kuldeep Sharma.
According to his election affidavit, Kartikeya has assets worth Rs. 390.63 crores. This includes Rs 14.60 crore in Piccadily Hotels Private Limited, Rs 35.04 lakh in Soon-N-Sure Holdings Limited and Rs 367.65 crore in Mark Buildtech Private Limited.
Kartikeya was convicted under Sections 138 and 141 of the Negotiable Instruments Act in three cases of bad check by the Metropolitan Magistrate’s Court, Borivali, Mumbai on 23 May 2018. His affidavit mentions that in two cases he was sentenced to six months in prison. simple imprisonment with a fine of Rs 7.25 lakh each. In the third case, he was sentenced to six months simple jail with a fine of Rs 14 lakh. Appeals against the three cases are pending in the Court of Sessions, Goregaon, Mumbai. Pursuant to court orders dated June 21, 2018, the sentences handed down on May 23, 2018 have been suspended pending the decision on the appeals.
Sharma was backed by all 10 JJP MPs of Dushyant Chautala while filing his nomination for Rajya Sabha polls from Haryana as an independent candidate.
For the ballot, the BJP had nominated former transport minister and five-time MLA Krishan Lal Panwar, and the Congress chose AICC general secretary Ajay Maken. Given that the BJP had 31 clear votes for Panwar, competition was tight for the second seat.
As the election date approached, Kartikeya began garnering more support with the BJP, INLD, HLP and independent MPs openly speaking out in his favour. Eventually, he managed to stumble Ajay Maken of Congress and surrendered to the Rajya Sabha.