Assets of many re-contesting candidates in Uttarakhand have gone up by over 1000%, according to a report by Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR).

When compared to 2012, the assets of Congress' Ghansali candidate Bhim Lal Arya have gone up by a whopping 1219%, as per the report. In 2012, Arya — who then was in BJP - had assets worth Rs 4 lakh, which have gone up to Rs 54 lakh in 2017.

The possessions of BJP nominee Shailendra Mohan Singhal, who was among the Congress rebels, has shot up by 1015% from Rs 3 crore to Rs 35 crore. Singhal, a doctor, also owns a nursing home.
Meanwhile, the assets of Congress MLA Madan Singh Bisht have gone up approximately by 863% from Rs 12 lakh to more than Rs 1 crore. Similarly, independent candidate Dinesh Dhanai's properties saw a growth of 636%.

As per the ADR report, out of the 60 sitting legislators contesting the 2017 elections, a high number of 55 have witnessed an increase in their assets in the past five years, whereas the remaining five, including finance minister Indira Hridayesh, saw a decline in their assets. Hridayesh stands at the bottom of the list with minus 26% decline in his assets from Rs 5 crore to Rs 4 crore.

The average rise in the assets of the 60 re-contesting MLAs is 96%; BJP candidates' properties rise by 85%, Congress' 105%, BSP's 175%, and independents registered an average growth of 210%, says report. Besides, the average assets of these 60 lawmakers in 2012 was Rs 1.85 crore, which have shot up to Rs 3.62 crore in the span of five years.

Uttarakhand chief minister Harish Rawat's assets increased by 30%. In 2012, his assets were worth Rs 4.84 crore, which in five years increased to Rs 6.31 crore, registering a growth of Rs 1.46 crore.

The five lawmakers whose assets saw a decline are Mal Chand, Bishan Singh Chupal, Puran Singh Fartyal, Rajesh Shukla and Hridayesh. While Hridayesh assets registered maximum decline, Chupal's properties went down from Rs 1.01 crore to Rs 78.69 lakh, a decline of minus 22%.

Poll analyst Jayant Singh Rawat told TOI, "It's surprising, considering dwindling financial condition of the state. These MLAs' possessions paint a completely different picture. When most of the lawmakers in the hills are prospering financially, it's disappointing to see farmers of the state are suffering."

"Large-scale migration from the hills is a well-known situation; then how come the business, agriculture and other sources of income of these legislators are registering quantum rise," Rawat sought to know.

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