The Times of India

Nagpur: Getting elected to the state assembly is a sure way to become a millionaire it seems from the assets of 216 MLAs, including top ministers, who are re-contesting the Maharashtra elections this time.

A survey by Association for Democratic Reforms and Maharashtra Election Watch revealed that assets of these netas, including that of ex-deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar and former ministers Narayan Rane and Rajesh Tope have jumped by a whopping Rs8.17 crores which comes out to be 164% in just five years from 2009. It makes common public wonder on how fortunes of these candidates rise in just five years by massive proportions.

Interestingly, in 2009, their average assets were Rs4.97 crores which have touched Rs13.15 crores in five years. However, the wealth of six candidates has decreased in the same period too.

The list of rich candidates is led by Mangal Lodha of BJP, who is re-contesting from tony Malabar Hill constituency. His wealth leapfrogged by staggering Rs129.97 crores, from Rs68.64 crores in 2009 to Rs198.61 crores. He is followed by nine-time MLA Suresh Jain who is contesting from the jail for the Jalgaon constituency on a Shiv Sena ticket. Jain's capital increased to Rs100 crores.

From Vidarbha, former EGS minister Nitin Raut heads the list with an unbelievable jump of 672% in his total wealth. As per his affidavit in 2009, he had assets worth Rs2.32 crores which has now swelled to Rs17.97 crores. He is followed by Nana Shyamkule from Chandrapur with an increase of Rs9.49 crores and son of former President Pratibha Patil, Raosahbeb Shekhawat, with an increase of Rs9.21 crore.

Three-time MLA from Khamgaon and Congress strongman Dilipkumar Sananda's capital increased from Rs3.71 crores in 2009 to Rs7.06 crores. State BJP President Devendra Fadnavis wealth grew from Rs1.98 crores to Rs4.34 crores with an increase of Rs2.36 crores. Former minister Shivajirao Moghe's assets increased from Rs1.35 crores in 2009 to Rs4.23 crores with an increase of 212%.

Among the ministers, former CM Rane leads that pack with an increase of 405% from 2009 where his wealth was Rs14.31 crores which jumped to Rs72.35 crores. The deputy CM's wealth has increased by 260% from Rs38.83 crores to Rs10.78 crores that means an increase of Rs28.04 crores.

Ex-PWD minister Chhagan Bhujbal's assets show a rise of 183% from Rs7.75 crores to Rs21.91 crores while that of ex-forest minister Patangrao Kadam jumped by 95% from Rs15.11 crore to Rs29.41 crores in same period.

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