Ninety three per cent of Karnataka’s newly elected MLAs are crorepatis. The figure in the outgoing Assembly was 63 per cent.
The average growth in wealth of 92 re-elected MLAs is Rs. 12.62 crore in the last five years, says a post-poll analysis conducted by Karnataka Election Watch, which is part of the voluntary group National Election Watch-Association for Democratic Reforms.
“When we analysed the growth of MPs’ wealth during the 2009 elections to the Lok Sabha, it was Rs 4.6 crore per MP across the country. Karnataka’s new MLAs are easily far wealthier than our MPs, especially those from the Congress,” EW-ADR founder member Trilochan Sastry told presspersons on Friday. Money obviously played a big role in these elections too, he added.
KEW combed through the mandatory affidavits filed by 218 candidates as part of their election documents.
Although elections were held for 223 seats on May 5, five affidavits were badly scanned and could not be read, EW-ADR’s Vasudev Sharma said.
The highest average growth in the wealth of 43 re-elected Congress MLAs is Rs. 17.57 crore. The growth in assets of 30 re-elected BJP MLAs is Rs. 6.5 crore. The wealth of 12 JD(S) MLA-elects went up by Rs. 13.35 crore.
The growth in wealth of two MLA-elects from the BSR Congress is Rs. 11.85 crore; of three Independents Rs. 4.54 crore; and the lone Samajwadi Party MLA Rs. 9.5 crore. One re-elected MLA from the KJP is richer by Rs. 4 crore.
The top five money bags are from the Congress: Priya Krishna (Govindarajnagar), N. Nagaraju (Hoskote), Anil Lad (Bellary City), D.K. Shivakumar (Kanakapura), and Santosh Lad (Kalaghatgi). Ashok Kheny (Bidar South) and H.D. Kumaraswamy (Ramanagaram) are the other prominent names in the list.
The top 20 richest MLAs include 14 from the Congress. The father-son duos of Priya Krishna and M. Krishnappa, and Shamanur Shivashankarappa and S.S. Mallikarjun are part of the list.
KEW found that 74 of the 218 MLAs declared they had criminal cases against them, 39 of them are serious cases. Five MLAs declared they had murder-related cases: B. Sriramulu (BSR Congress, Bellary); Vijayananad Kashappanavar (Congress, Hungund): B.M. Nagaraj (Congress, Siruguppa); Sambhaji Lakshman Patil (Independent, Belgaum South); and Dattatreya C. Patil Revoor (BJP, Gulbarga South). Eleven MLAs figured in corruption-related cases.
Prof. Sastry said EW-ADR would pressure the Congress not to include these MLAs in the Cabinet.
“This is a big problem we are going to face. If this is so, what kind of governance will we get,” he asked. EW-ADR plans to now focus on the link between MLAs and the real estate sector.