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Crorepatis in Karnataka: 64% rise in assets of re-contesting MLAs, most are from Congress

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Congress’s Priya Krishna is the richest candidate with net assets of Rs 1,024 crore while independent Dilip Kumar is the poorest with assets worth just Rs 1,000.

New Delhi: The average assets of 184 sitting Karnataka MLAs, who are contesting the assembly polls Saturday, have gone up to Rs 44 crore from about Rs 27 crore in 2013, an increase of 64 per cent.

Party-wise, on average 108 MLAs from the Congress collectively hold Rs 62 crore, a 66 per cent increase from 2013 when they held Rs 37 crore, according to data analysed by the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) and the Karnataka Election Watch (KEW).

Similarly, 24 MLAs from JD(S) hold Rs 21 crore — up from Rs 14 crore in 2013; 49 from the BJP have assets of Rs 17 crore — up from Rs 10 crore in 2013.

According to a Supreme Court order passed in February this year, candidates contesting elections are now required to reveal the source of their income along with that of their spouses and dependents.

The apex court had further decreed that there would be a permanent mechanism to periodically collate data and scrutinise instances of the disproportionate increase in the wealth of candidates, if any, that would then be placed in the public domain in order to allow the voters to make an informed choice.

Graphic by Siddhant Gupta

Rs 100-crore club

Among the MLAs who feature in the more than Rs 100-crore club are N. Nagaraju (Rs 1,015 crore), D.K. Shivakumar (Rs 840 crore), R.V. Deshpande (Rs 215 crore) and Shamanur Shivashankarappa (Rs 183 crore) — all from the Congress.

Congress MLA Shivakumar’s assets saw the sharpest rise between 2013 and 2018 with an increase of 588 per cent. Nagaraja, whose assets rose by Rs 545 crore in five years, follows him in the list.

Shivashankarappa’s assets rose by Rs 115 crore and those of Priya Krishna and Vishwanath rose by Rs 109 crore and Rs 101 crore, respectively.

Among the poorest, there are at least four candidates who have registered zero assets in 2018. Congress candidate E. Tukaram from Ballari has registered a 100 per cent decrease in his wealth.

Even three BJP candidates — Busanur Ramesh Balappa, Duryodhan Mahalingappa Aihole and Basavaraj Bommai — have all registered zero assets and a 100 per cent decrease in their assets compared to 2013.

The richest and the poorest

Congress’s Priya Krishna is the richest candidate with net assets of around Rs 1,024 crore while independent Dilip Kumar is the poorest (Rs 1,000) in the fray for the 12 May Karnataka assembly polls.

Out of 2,654 candidates who are contesting the elections, 883 are crorepatis.

Also, almost all parties have at least one candidate who is a crorepati, according to data analysed by ADR-KEW.

The BJP has 208 crorepatis out of 224 candidates (93 per cent). Similarly, 207 out of 220 candidates (94 per cent) in the Congress, 154 out of 199 in the JD(S) (77 per cent), 13 out of 25 (52 per cent) in the JD(U), 9 out of 27 (33 per cent) in the Aam Aadmi Party and 199 out of 1,090 independents (18 per cent) have declared assets worth more than Rs 1 crore.

Graphic by Siddhant Gupta

The richest candidate, Priya Krishna, who is contesting from the Govindaraj Nagar constituency, is part of the real estate sector. He has declared movable assets worth around Rs 860 crore and immovable assets worth around Rs 160 crore.

The poorest one, Dilip Kumar, is contesting from Bommanahalli. He has zero immovable assets while his movable assets are worth just Rs 1,000.

17 per cent dip in Yeddyurappa’s assets

Former chief minister B.S. Yeddyurappa has declared Rs 4.85 crore in assets this year, a 17 per cent dip compared to assets worth Rs 5.83 crore in 2013.

B. Sreeramulu of the BJP, who owes his rise and political fame to mining baron and former Karnataka minister G. Janardhana Reddy, has registered Rs 18 crore in assets this year, far less than the Rs 37 crore he had in 2013.

With a total annual income of Rs 45 lakh, Sreeramulu submitted a 51 per cent decrease in his wealth with the poll panel.

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