Vijay Darda is chairman of Lokmat group of newspapers that publishes Lokmat (Marathi), Lokmat Samachar (Hindi) and Lokmat Times (English) from different cities in Maharashtra.
Lokmat is the largest circulated Marathi daily in the country with over a dozen editions. He served as the president of Indian Newspaper Society and president of south-Asian editors’ forum, formed by the editors of dailies in south Asia.
A staunch Congressman Darda (62) was first elected to the Rajya Sabha in 1998 as an independent after defeating the Congress nominee Ram Pradhan, a Sonia Gandhi’s hand-picked candidate. This is his third term in the Upper House of the Parliament.
His brother, Rajendra Darda, who was elected from Aurangabad assembly constituency, is the Maharashtra minister for education. Vijay Darda’s son Devendra is one of the partners of JAS Infrastructure.
Darda’s father, Jawaharlal Darda, who was from neighbouring Yavatmal district, was a freedom fighter and served as the state treasurer for the MPCC for years. He was minister for industries and energy in the state cabinet in 1980s.
Darda’s close proximity with Manoj Jayaswal was an eyesore for many. Jayaswal, who is reportedly a relative of union coal minister Sriprakash Jaiswal, was allotted mines in Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and Maharashtra and Dardas were his business partners.
Congress Rajya Sabha member was in the news in recent past when he described the Gujarat chief minister as a tiger and a national saint that embarrassed his party colleagues.