Business Line

Average assets of recontesting MLAs in the May 5 Assembly elections in Karnataka have nearly doubled and rose by about Rs 10 crore in the last five years, according to two NGOs tracking the trend.

Based on candidates’ affidavit filed with nomination papers, Karnataka Election Watch (KEW) and Association for Democratic Reforms analysed 179 outgoing MLAs who are contesting again.

The average asset of these 179 recontesting MLAs fielded by various parties in 2008 was Rs 10.59 crore, which has now zoomed to Rs 19.87 crore, up Rs 9.27 crore in the past five years, or a growth of 88 per cent.

D.K. Shivakumar of the Congress from Kanakapura segment has declared maximum increase in assets with an increase of Rs 175.91 crore – from Rs 75.59 crore in 2008 to Rs 251.50 crore in 2013.

Assets of Priya Krishna (Congress; Govindrajanagar) increased by Rs 143.36 crore, from Rs 767.61 crore in 2008 to Rs 910.98 crore in 2013, and that of Santhosh Lad (Congress; Kalaghatgi) from Rs 61.54 crore to Rs 186.40 crore.

Decrease in assets

Eight MLAs have reported decrease in assets in 2013 as compared to the value of their assets five years ago.

Among them the highest decrease has been shown by B K Sangameshwara (72 per cent decline in assets; Rs 5.38 crore in 2008 to Rs 1.66 crore in 2013). (Incidentally, the Congress has denied ticket to Sangameshwara, who is now seeking re-election from Bhadravati as an independent).

He is followed by Higher Education Minister C.T. Ravi (BJP; Chikmagalur) (54 per cent reduction in assets, from Rs 7.85 crore in 2008 to Rs 3.59 crore in 2013).

The highest percentage increase (210.51 per cent) in assets has been declared by Ramanatha Rai of Congress from Bantwal. His assets increased from Rs 1.71 lakh to Rs 3.62 crore, according to the NGOs.

Sports Minister Appachu Ranjan (Madikeri) came second, declaring an increase in assets of 57.52 per cent, from Rs 18.20 lakh to Rs 10.65 crore in 2013 (He did not provide rupee value for six motor vehicles, jewellery and immovable assets), as per the analysis by the NGOs.

Rs 10 cr seized

More than Rs 10 crore in cash and 42,000 litres of liquor have been seized in the State by the Election Commission-appointed surveillance teams.

The special teams have also seized other items worth Rs 1.52 crore after they were suspected to be used to lure voters, a senior official involved in the operation said.

“The total cash seizure till now is Rs 10.02 crore while a total of 42,160 litres of illegal liquor have been seized in the poll-bound State,” he said.

EC has deputed a team of Income Tax department officers and other State government officials along with State police to keep tabs on illegal cash, liquor and inducements suspected to be used for votes.

EC has also asked the State Election Commission to regularly update its office in New Delhi about any large-scale seizures.

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