Deccan Herald

The assets declared by at least eight MLAs, including four ministers, during filing of their nominations for West Bengal Assembly election have represented an increase of Rs 20 lakh each since 2006 when the last polls were held, an election watchdog said.

West Bengal Election Watch, an NGO, in a report said RSP candidate and minister for jail Biswanath Chowdhury has increased his assets by Rs 43 lakh in the last five years. According to the affidavit filed in 2006, Chowdhury, an MLA from Balurghat in South Dinajpur district, had a total value of Rs 14,17,328 which increased by a whooping 309 per cent to Rs 57,98,746.

Civil defence minister Srikumar Banerjee's assets saw a healthy increase by 187 per cent at Rs 66,47,974 - up from Rs 23,12,837 in 2006. Similarly, environment minister Sailen Sarkar's assets increased by more than Rs 31 lakh. His assets valued at Rs 82,10,495 saw a jump from Rs 50,40,768 in 2006.

CPI-M) MLA from Domkal in Murshidabad district Anisur Rahaman, who is a minister for panchayat, has declared assets at Rs 56,39,726 - a jump of more than Rs 24 lakh from Rs 31, 95,000 shown in the affidavit in 2006.

Fisheries minister Kiranmoy Nanda of the Socialist Party has an increase of Rs 15 lakh, PWD Minister Kshiti Goswami has an increase of Rs 12 lakh and Animal Resources Development Minister Narayan Biswas has an increase of Rs 16 lakh in their assets declared, the report said.

Similarly, Forward Bloc MLA Akshay Thakur has an increase of Rs 41 lakh, MLA Tamser Ali has an increase of Rs 32 lakh, MLA Karme Elahi Md has an increase of more than Rs 24 lakh and MLA Shamsul Islam Mollah has an increase of Rs 22 lakh.

In the opposition camp, Congress MLA from Kandi in Murshidabad district Apurba Sarkar saw the value of his assets increase by more than one crore in the last five years. In 2006 Sarkar had declared assets worth Rs 7,65,762 which rose to 1,39,56,850 in 2011- an increase of 1723 per cent.

Three Congress MLAs - Mainul Haque from Farakka, Abu Hena from Lalgola and Abu Taher Khan from Naoda have increased the value of their assets by more than Rs 50 lakh, Rs 36 lakh and 15 lakh respectively in the last five years, the watchdog said.

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