The Times of India

BANGALORE: The May 5 assembly elections will see cash flow of Rs 6,000-7,000 crore, according to Association of Democratic Reforms (ADR) andKarnataka Election Watch (KEW), organization working on electoral reforms. 

"The assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh in 2012 saw flow of Rs 10,000 black money. Karnataka is slowly catching up. This trend is not good for democracy,'' Trilochan Sastry, Harish Narasappa. Kathyaini Chamaraj and Vasudevamurthy of KEW told reporters here on Thursday. 

The study conducted by the organization on 24 ministers has shown that the average assets of these ministers was Rs 91 lakh. "The growth in average asset per minister was 665% from 2004 to 2008. Of the 24 analyzed, 18 or 75% cabinet ministers are crorepatis," they said. 

According to the study report, Anand Singh from Hampi-Vijayanagara constituency has the highest assets of Rs 88.66 crore among the ministers followed by V Somanna ( who is an MLC) with assets worth Rs 10.99 crore. He is closely followed by Anand Asnotikar with assets worth Rs 10.39 crore. Deputy chief minister R Ashoka stands fourth and he is followed by higher education minister CT Ravi. Varthur R Prakash with assets worth Rs 2 lakh has the lowest assets among all the ministers. The organization claimed that ministers' affidavits with details in the nomination were the source of information for them. 

The KEW has not taken ministers S Suresh Kumar, Revunaik Belamagi and Kota Srinivas Poojary into account as they claimed they have not accessed information. Similarly, the organization has left Shobha Karandlaje, CP Yogeshwar, and Narasimha Naik from the list. "We have taken only those who are ministers. A study report on Shobha and others will be released next week," Sastry said. 

On the assets of MLAs, 61% or 131 out of the 215 MLAs analyzed are crorepatis in this assembly. Total strength of the assembly is 224. The average asset per MLA Rs 5.98 crore. Priya Krishna of Congress from Govindrajnagar has the highest asset of Rs 767.61 crore. In 2004 assembly the average asset of 186 MLAs out of 224 analysed was Rs 1.29 crore. "There was a growth of 364% increase in average asset of MLAs from 2004 to 2008 assembly elections," they said. 

BOX: 24 ministers include Anand Singh, Anand Asnotikar, R Ashoka, CT Ravi, Basavaraj Bommai, Balachandra L Jarkiholi, S Shivanna, Murugesh R Nirani, KS Eshwarappa, A Narayanaswamy, SK Bellubbi, BN Bachhe Gowda, Umesh V Katti, Aravind Limbavali, SA Ravindranath, Jagadish Shettar (chief minister), Visvesvara Hegde Kageri, Govind M Karjol, DN Jeevaraj, Kalakappa Bandi, Appachu Ranjan, SA Ramdas and Varthur Prakash. 

Partywise average assets: Congress Rs 9.55 crore (70 MLAs analysed), JD(S) Rs 4.43 crore (26 MLAs analysed), BJP Rs 4.35 crore, (112 MLAs analysed) and Independents Rs 1.48 crore (6 MLAs analysed). 

Southern states average assets: Karnataka Rs 5.98 crore, Tamil Nadu Rs 3.98 crores (2011), Andhra Pradesh Rs 3.78 crore (2009) and Kerala Rs 1.43 crore (2011).

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