The Times of India
Rohit Mullick

Punjab's newly-elected assembly of politicians may have become one of the richest in the country. Not only has the number of crorepati MLAs increased to the highest ever, but politicians have also succeeded in adding to their assets.

Out of the 117 MLAs who got popular mandate, 101 are either crorepatis or super-crorepatis (with assets worth Rs 50 crore and above).

According to new data released by the association for democratic reforms (ADR), money power seems to have influenced the election results majorly. The data reveals that 37.7% of candidates who declared assets of Rs 5 crore and above won the elections and only 5.8% of the contestants with assets between Rs 20 lakh to Rs 1 crore won.

There were 77 crorepati MLAs in the 2007 assembly. This time, most of the crorepati politicians are from Shiromani Akali Dal but the richest of them are from the Congress. The SAD has 47 crorepati MLAs, Congress has 41 and BJP, 10.

Interestingly, all the three independent candidates who won the elections are also crorepatis.

The average asset per MLA of Congress is highest with Rs 13.97 crore, followed by SAD with Rs 7.93 crore and BJP with Rs 4.68 crore.

Leading the crorepati club in the House is Congress MLA from Muktsar -- Karan Kaur. Her total assets are of over Rs 128 crore. The next is SAD president and deputy chief minister Sukhbir Badal with total movable and immovable assets of Rs 90.86 crore.

Incidentally, Karan may be the richest politician of Punjab but she is among the 12 MLAs who have not filed their income tax returns.

The other super rich MLA include Kewal Singh Dhillon, Rana Gurjit Singh, Amarinder Singh and Arvind Khanna from Congress and Adeish Partap Singh Kairon from SAD and Navjot Kaur Sidhu, wife of Amritsar MP Navjot Sidhu, from BJP.

Some of the richest candidates also have the highest liabilities, with Sukhbir right at the top of heap with total liabilities of Rs 31.77 crore. Other politicians with liabilities in crores of rupees include Rana Gurjit Singh, Kewal Singh Dhillon, Arvind Khanna, Ashwani Sekhri of Congress and Tota Singh, Deep Malhotra, and Adeish Partap Singh Kairon from SAD.

The list of "poor" politicians in Punjab is headed by BJP's Seema Devi, whose total assets are of Rs 2.81 lakh only. Seema is followed by Chetan Singh Samaon of SAD, with assets of Rs 6.70 lakh. Other MLAs with assets in lakhs include BJP president Ashwani Sharma, Harpreet Singh, Gurtej Singh from SAD and Harchand Kaur and Gurcharan Singh of Congress.

Richie Rich Club

Karan Kaur, Kewal Singh Dhillon, Rana Gurjit Singh, Amarinder Singh, Arvind Khanna (Cong)

Sukhbir Badal, Adeish Partap Singh Kairon (SAD)

Navjot Kaur Sidhu (BJP)

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