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CHENNAI: Assets of Tamil Nadu's sitting MLAs recontesting this election have at least doubled in the past five years irrespective of the party they belong to, says a study.

Even as the incomes of the candidates have reached dizzying heights, 41 per cent of them, including a few crorepatis, have never filed their income tax returns, says another report. Both studies conducted jointly by the Association of Democratic Reforms and National Election Watch, were published on Friday.

One report analysed the rise in assets of 98 current MLAs who are contesting the forthcoming polls. The study compared their sworn affidavits filed during the 2006 elections with the one filed of the current polls.

While the assets of the DMK MLAs increased by 184 per cent during this period, the Congress MLAs got richer by 263 per cent, it states.

DMK MLAs, whose average assets were Rs 1 crore plus in 2006, now own more than Rs 5 crore worth of assets, according to the study.

The party whose MLAs have recorded the highest increase in assets of 1,301 per cent is CPI (M). Three of their MLAs' affidavits have been scrutinised.

Vasanth Kumar of the Congress recorded the highest increase in assets to the tune of Rs 97 crore from 2006 to the present year. Coming second is the leader of the opposition party, J Jayalalithaa, whose assets rose by Rs 26 crore. In percentage terms, AIADMK's M Gunasekaran from the Manamadurai constituency tops the list by recording a 3,396 per cent increase in his assets during his tenure as MLA.

In another analysis of the Income Tax and PAN details of the candidates, it was revealed that 41 per cent of the 724 candidates analysed had never filed their IT returns.

BJP had the highest number of such candidates (102), followed by the AIADMK with 47 and DMK and DMDK with 18 candidates each.

The richest candidate to have never filed his tax returns is Thoothukkudi AIADMK MLA Chellapandian, whose assets total Rs 5.03 crore. DMK MLAs M Uma Maheswari (Sankaran Koil) and Rani (Melur) are No 2 and No 3 on the list, earning Rs 2.7 crore and Rs 2.34 crore, respectively.

Also, 28 per cent of the candidates analysed did not declare their PAN details.

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