Random Thoughts

Wealthy Members of Sixteenth Parliament!

Some of our politicians run for public offices for fame, some for power, many for money, and the rest for combination of two or three. So, when we see our leaders on televisions or see their pictures in newspapers or hear them talk, we know they have become famous. When we see them in designer clothes or driving expensive cars or living in nice homes, we know they have become wealthy.

And after seeing them and their richness, we affirm our common held belief that somehow our re-elected leaders end up with substantially more wealth than the wealth they had in the previous election, and the latest data confirms this notion.

Recently, the Association of Democratic Reforms of India published statistics it collected from applications and affidavits filed by candidates who ran for reelection for Parliament in 2014.

Table 1, compiled from ADR’s reports, shows an increase (or a decrease) in declared assets of a few selected Members of Parliament from the last election in 2009 to recently concluded election in 2014.

Mr. Shatrughan Sinha, MP from Patna Sahib District in the state of Bihar, stands at the top. His net worth was Rs. 15 crores when he won the election in 2009 and it jumped to Rs. 131.74 crores when he won again in 2014, an increase of Rs. 116.74 crores or 778% in just five years or an increase of approximately Rs. 2 crores every month.

Other famous Members of Parliament who have substantially incremented their funds in five years are Pinaki Mishra by 107.41 crores, Maneka Gandhi by 19.13 crores, Dimple Yadav by 19.02 crores, and Sonia Gandhi by 7.91 crores.

Just a handful of leaders such as Jagdambika Pal have shown that their net assets have actually declined.

Table 1: Change in assets in five years of reelected Members of Parliament

Name Assets in Rs.
Crores 2009
Assets in Rs.
Crores 2014
Change in
in %
Shatrugan Sinha 15.00 131.74 116.74 778
Pinaki Mishra 29.69 137.10 107.41 362
Supriya Sule 51.54 113.91 63.37 121
P.C. Moah 5.37 47.58 42.21 786
Varun Gandhi 4.93 35.73 30.80 625 Married in 2011
Deepender Singh 6.54 35.87 29.33 449
Maneka Gandhi 18.28 37.41 19.13 105
Dimple Yadav 9.03* 28.05 19.02 211 Wife of CM Akhilesh Yadav
Mulayam Singh Yadav 2.24 15.97 13.73 613 Father of CM Akhilesh Yadav
Kamlesh Paswan 0.18 10.16 9.98 5544
Sadanand Gowda 1.44 9.89 8.45 587
Sonia Gandhi 1.38 9.29 7.91 573
Murli M. Joshi 5.45 7.84 2.39 44
Dharmendra Yadav 0.57 2.49 1.92 337 Cousin of CM Akhilesh Yadav
Rajnath Singh 1.49 2.92 1.43 96
Ramashanker Katheria 0.15 1.46 141 873
Jagdambika Pal 4.78 1.78 (3.00) (63)

Rupees rounded to the nearest hundredth. * in 2012.
Source: Association of Democratic Reforms.

How did these elected leaders acquire so much wealth so fast?

As far as the public knows Members of Parliament listed in the table do not own factories or giant retail/wholesale businesses which would make them wealthy quickly. Maybe they made fortune in the buying and selling of land, buildings, stocks, bonds, mutual funds, precious metals, and antiques? Maybe they inherited wealth? Maybe they wrote and published books? Maybe they made money working as professionals or commission agents?

Whichever way one has accumulated wealth, each MP seems to say my motto is this: It is me, me, me, not you. We, the people of India, are just not listening and keep re-electing candidates.


More by :  Vasant G. Gandhi

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