Mumbai Mirror
Sudhir Suryawanshi
New Delhi

MLAs have 339 pc more assets since last elections

And that’s just on average. Raigad Shiv Sena candidate Devendra Satam has a 9,564 per cent increase, closely followed by AN Narayan of CPI (M) from Solapur with 7,981 per cent

In the last five years, the average increase in the assets of a Member of Legislative Assembly (MLA) re-contesting the 2009 polls is Rs 2.45 crore. That’s 339 per cent. Jalgaon sitting MLA and Shiv Sena candidate Suresh Jain has accumulated the most property, with an increase of Rs 52.72 crore, followed by Rajendra Darda, Congress candidate from Aurangabad, whose assets have increased by Rs 25.8 crore.

The comparison is based on data about 196 candidates collected by the National Election Watch, on the basis of self-declared assets in their 2004 and 2009 affidavits. Out of 196, 188 MLAs have shown a huge rise in assets while only eight MLAs have declared a decrease in their property. 

Five candidates’ assets have multiplied surprisingly fast. Suresh Jain had shown Rs 26 crore in 2004 and it is now Rs 79 crore, Rajendra Darda had Rs 6.3 crore which has now grown to Rs 32.1 crore, and Kadam Ramprasad, Congress candidate from Parbhani, had Rs 4.5 crore and it is now 23.3 crore. Vilas Lande, independent candidate from Pune, had Rs 7 crore in 2004, but now has Rs 22 crore while Vinayak Nimhan, Congress MLA from Pune, had declared Rs 10 crore in 2004, and is now worth Rs 18 crore.

Interestingly, Govindrao Chikalikar from Nanded showed a decrease in his assets: in 2004, he had Rs 90.38 lakh, but now has Rs 90.35 lakh this year. Similarly, the assets of KC Padavi, Congress candidate from Nandurbar, decreased by Rs 51,000, while those of Manohar Naik, NCP candidate from Yavatmal, decreased by Rs 1.83 lakh.

Percentage-wise, Raigad Shiv Sena candidate Devendra Satam has shown the maximum increase – 9,564 per cent. He is followed by AN Narayan of CPI (M) from Solapur – 7,981 per cent. 

“The Income Tax Department should look into the property of the MLAs and find out how they earn. This is just official information; we have no record of unofficially-collected wealth. The government should have double tax for a large accumulation of property. Poor people get poorer, and politicians get richer. Politics has become more like a business. Be in it for a year and earn in crores, depriving the poor people. 

“There has been little development and improvement in terms of infrastructure, but MLAs have multiplied their assets manifold. There should be a watchdog to monitor them,” said a political observer.

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