With the ongoing elections in Karnataka, focus has been drawn towards the political entities contesting these elections. Average assets of 184 members of Legislative Assembly (MLAs) who are re-contesting have increased by an astounding 64% since the previous elections in 2013, says a report.   The Report is prepared by Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) and Karnataka Election Watch (KEW) after analysing affidavits of 184 re-contesting MLAs (including bye-elections) during the 2018 Karnataka Assembly elections. It found average assets of these 184 re-contesting MLAs from various parties including independent MLAs in 2013 was Rs26.92 crore, which increased to Rs44.24 crore in 2018. This means, in just five years, average assets of these 184 MLAs increased by an incredible Rs17.31 crore.  
  Furthermore, five of the 184 re-contesting MLAs have had the worth of their assets increase more than Rs100 crore. It may also be important to note here that these five MLAs are all members of the Indian National Congress (INC) party. DK Shivakumar tops this list with an incredulous 234% increase (Rs588 crore) in his assets since the 2013 assembly elections, closely followed by N Nagaraju with an 116% increase (Rs545 crore).   
  The report goes a step further and makes the same comparison party-wise. As illustrated in the figure above, it finds that INC heads the list with an average Rs 24.73 crore increase in assets since the 2013 elections. It should be noted here that of the analysed 184 re-contesting MLAs, a significant number (108) of them represent Congress, the ruling party in Karnataka. Comparing just the average assets of the top three political parties, one can see an increase of 66% in wealth for MLAs representing Congress, 65% for Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and 49% for Janata Dal- Secular (JD(S)).    Although this report may not be damaging to the reputations of some MLAs, it should still be an eye-opener to the voters in Karnataka. But hoping for a change in the financial activities of these MLAs is certainly deemed to be a lost cause.
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