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Poverty levels down sharply among MLAs in five years:analysis

If you thought being a member of the legislative assembly, with a salary between Rs 5,000 to 50,000 a month, is bad for your financial health, think again.

Every month, the MLAs increased their assets by 3 to 6 lakhs on average, according to a comparison of asset declarations made by MLAs at the time of the recent state elections in Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand.

According to the numbers, crunched by the Delhi-based Association For Democratic Reforms, the average MLA increased his financial assets by close to Rs 3 crore in the five years that they held their membership in the house legislature.

In fact, the five-year stint was so good for most MLAs that they ‘earned’ as much during the five-year tenure as they had during their entire lives till then — doubling their assets. Many became first-time crore-patis when they were sitting MLAs, moving on from mere lakh-patis.

Out of the three states, the biggest ‘elimination in poverty levels’ happened among MLAs in Uttar Pradesh, where the affidavits of 226 MLAs were available for comparison of their assets in 2007 and 2012.

In 2007, the average asset-value of these MLAs was Rs 0.98 crore. At the end of the tenure, it had more than tripled, to Rs 3.08 crore.

In other words, despite getting Rs 30,000 per month for the first 3 years (and Rs 50,000 for the last two), the UP legislators were smart enough to post an average increase of about Rs 3.5 lakhs a month in their assets — better than what most stock-market investors could manage.

It is not a matter of UP alone, though the ‘poverty alleviation’ was the highest in the state.

In Punjab, during the five years, the average asset of an MLA under the study increased from Rs 5.73 crore to Rs 9.17 crore and in Uttarakhand, from Rs 0.83 crore to Rs 2.30 crore.

In UP, SP had the ‘poorest’ MLAs in 2012, perhaps a reflection of the party’s lack of electoral success last year. SP MLAs had average assets of about Rs 2.52 Crores, followed by BJP with 4.01 crore, BSP with 4.44 crore and the Congress Party with 4.61 crore.

Congress MLAs were considerably richer in Punjab also, with an average asset value of 13.97 crores — almost double that of the Akali Dal legislators’ at Rs 7.93 crores and for BJP at Rs.4.68 crores.

In Uttarakhand, the average asset per MLA for the Congress was Rs 1.87 Crore, for BJP – 2.02 Crore, for BSP – 1.21 crores and for UKD (P) – 1.27 Crores.

OTHER HIGHLIGHTS:

UP

Nawab kazim Ali Khan of INC from Suar constituency has the highest increase in asset worth Rs.47.70 Crores (from 9.18 crore in 2007 to 56.89 Crores in 2012), followed by Subhash of SP from Saidpur (SC) constituency with an asset increase of Rs. 30.61 Crores (from 4.70 crores in 2007 to 35.32 Crores in 2012) and Devendra Aggarwal of SP from Sadabad constituency with an asset increase of Rs. 16.95 Crores (from 4.95 crores in 2007 to 21.91 Crores in 2012.)

The highest percentage increase (21827%) has been for Wahab of BSP from Muradnagar constituency. His assets rose from 30 thousand in 2007 to 65.78 lakhs in 2012. He is followed by Jai Prakash of BSP from Chauri-chaura constituency with a percentage increase of 5332% (6.25 lakhs in 2007 to 3.39 crores in 2012) and Sudhir Kumar of SP from Safipur (SC) constituency with an increase of 4750% (1.29 lakhs in 2007 to 62.90 lakhs in 2012.)

PUNJAB

Kewal Singh of INC from Barnala constituency has shown the highest increase in asset worth Rs. 71.67 Crores (from 6.83 Crores in 2007 to 78.51 Crores in 2012), followed by Adeshpratap Singh Kairon of SAD from Patti constituency with an asset increase of Rs. 30.41 Crores (from 20.81 Crores in 2007 to 51.23 Crores in 2012) and Sukhbir Singh Badal of SAD from Jalalabad constituency with an asset increase of Rs. 22.87 Crores (from 67.98 Crores in 2007 to 90.86 Crores in 2012).

The highest percentage increase (1256%) has been for Sunil Kumar Jakhar of INC from Abhor constituency. His assets rose from 50.45 lakhs in 2007 to 6.84 Crores in 2012. He is followed by Navtej Singh of INC from Sultanpur Lodhi constituency with a percentage increase of 1057% (21.15 lakhs in 2007 to 2.44 Crores in 2012) and Kewal Singh Dhillon of INC from Barnala constituency with an increase of 1048% (6.83 Crores in 2007 to 78.51 crores in 2012).

UTTARAKHAND

Rajesh Shukla of BJP from Kichha constituency has shown the highest increase in asset worth Rs.25.76 Crores (from 87.57 Lakhs in 2007 to 26.63 Crores in 2012), followed by Surendra Singh Jeena of BJP from Salt constituency with an asset increase of Rs. 6.26 Crores (from 78.00 Lakhs in 2007 to 7.04 Crores in 2012) and Yashpal Arya of INC from Bazpur constituency with an asset increase of Rs. 3.71 Crores (from 81.62 Lakhs in 2007 to 4.52 Crores in 2012).

The highest percentage increase (8433%) has been for Bishan Singh Chuphal of BJP from Didihat constituency. His assets rose from 1.18 Lakhs in 2007 to 1.01 Crores in 2012. He is followed by Mayukh Singh of INC from Pithoragarh constituency with a percentage increase of 4773% (from 6.30 Lakhs in 2007 to 3.07 Crores in 2012) and Banshidhar Bhagat of BJP from Kaladhungi constituency with an increase of 2968% (from 2.38 Lakhs in 2007 to 73.02 Lakhs in 2012).

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