LUCKNOW, Sept. 23: Ramesh Chandra Tripathi who? That was Lucknow’s reaction nine days ago. Today, the elusive 73-year-old who has written several books on religion was an unlikely object of extreme emotions.
Those disappointed at the apex court decision whispered conspiracy theories: apparently, the man was a Congress pawn.
“Secrets” tumbled out. Sources in Faizabad, Tripathi’s native place, said he was a cousin of the late party leader Sripati Mishra, who had been Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister from 1982 to 1984. Apparently, Tripathi’s father and Mishra’s mother were siblings.
No one had seemed to know anything about his past, though, when he emerged from the shadows on September 14, petitioning the High Court to defer its verdict. Some of the lawyers in the court had found him “mentally not balanced”; others said he need not be taken seriously.
Yet, Tripathi had been defendant No. 17 in the title suit for nearly four decades. But, as the lawyers said, there were dozens of petitioners in the case. Tripathi had never appeared in court and his counsel never expressed any views, his opponents alleged in the apex court today, trying to get the “non-serious” petitioner’s appeal dismissed. Even on the Internet, a search for “Ramesh Chandra Tripathi” led to another R.C. Tripathi, a retired IAS officer. Tripathi is a retired defence expenditure accountant. He lives alternately in Lucknow’s Gomtinagar with his daughter or in Ambedkarnagar district with the rest of his family,” his lawyer in Lucknow, Prasant Chandra, said.
Tripathi had retired in 1997. “On September 12, he came to me,” Chandra said.
Tripathi’s Ambedkarnagar neighbours said he never flaunted his political connections but added that during his frequent visits to Lucknow in recent times, he may have rebuilt his Congress ties.
(From Rajesh Padmar Vishwa Samvad Kendra, Karnataka)