The Times of India
Rohit Mullick

 Punjab's newly-elected assembly of politicians may have become one of the richest in the country with hardly any room for the poor.

Not only the number of crorepati MLAs in the Punjab vidhan sabha has increased to highest ever but the politicians have also succeeded in adding on to their assets.

Out of the total 117 MLAs, who have received people's mandate in Punjab, 101 politicians are either crorepatis or super-crorepatis.

And higher the assets, better were the chances of winning.

As per the new data released by the association for democratic reforms (ADR), the election results seemed to be highly influenced by the money power.

The data reveals that 37.7% of the candidates, who declared assets of Rs 5 crore or above, won the elections and only 5.8% of the contestants won who had assets between Rs 20 lakh to Rs 1 crore.

The number of crorepati MLAs in the 2007 assembly was 77 and most of the crorepati politicians this time belong to the Shiromani Akali Dal but Congress has the richest of them all.

The SAD has 47 crorepati MLAs, followed by Congress with 41 and BJP with 10 out of the 12 candidates who won the elections.

Interestingly, all the three independent candidates who won the elections, are also crorepatis.

The average asset per MLA of Congress is highest with Rs 13.97 crore followed by SAD with Rs 7.93 crore and BJP with Rs 4.68 crore.

The crorepati club in the Punjab House is led by Congress MLA from Muktsar, Karan Kaur with total assets of over Rs 128 crore and closely followed by deputy chief minister Sukhbir Badal with total movable and immovable assets of Rs 90.86 crore.

Karan Kaur may be the richest politician of Punjab but she is among the 12 MLAs who have not filed their income tax returns.

The other super rich MLA include Kewal Singh Dhillon, Rana Gurjit Singh, Amarinder Singh and Arvind Khanna from Congress and Adeshpartap Singh Kairon from Shromani Akali Dal and Navjot Kaur Sidhu, wife of Amritsar MP Navjot Sidhu, from BJP.

Ironically, some of the richest candidates also have the highest liabilities with Sukhbir Badal right at the top with total liabilities of Rs 31.77 crore.

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