Successive govts in UP helped him rise

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The Samajwadi Party (SP), however, invited Ponty to the swearing-in ceremony of the Akhilesh Yadav government. A seat was reserved for him in the VVIP enclosure for the CM's relatives. His son Monty Chadha attended the ceremony.

SP's national general secretary made it a point to attend the marriage ceremony of Ponty's daughter in the Capital.

After assuming power again, the SP government chose to continue with the excise policy formulated by the Mayawati government. Due to this policy, Ponty was again given total control over wholesale liquor trade.

Few people can claim to have met Ponty Chadha. Even top bureaucrats said they had never met Ponty. A for District Magistrate recalled that he had invited Ponty to a charity event in Aligarh district and asked for sponsorship. "The money arrived but Ponty never came," he said.

Ponty struck gold with his diversification into liquor business. Now Ponty's group owns distilleries in UP and Punjab. During the BSP regime, there were reports that Ponty exploited his monopoly by raising the price of liquor.

Ponty also has stake in real estate with malls and multiplexes in Noida, Kaushambi, Lucknow, Moradabad, Ludhiana and Delhi. His 4,800-acre Hi-Tech City in Ghaziabad is the biggest housing project in the country. The project was launched during when Mulayam was the CM and developed in Mayawati's tenure.

Besides this, he has residential projects in Moradabad, Greater Noida and other parts of the country. Ponty also has stakes in paper mills both in UP and Uttrakhand. His fortunes did not dip even when many of his establishments were raided by I-T sleuths in February.

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