Mar 28, 2023
Mar 28, 2023
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
Assets in Rs.
Assets in Rs.
|Varun Gandhi||4.93||35.73||30.80||625||Married in 2011|
|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|
|Murli M. Joshi||5.45||7.84||2.39||44|
|Dharmendra Yadav||0.57||2.49||1.92||337||Cousin of CM Akhilesh Yadav|
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