While the common man has been failing to keep up with the rising inflation the MLAs elected for the new Karnataka assembly just know how to do it right, don’t they? According to a report by Karnataka Election Watch (KEW), a citizen led non-political group the average assets pre MLA have more than doubled since last election in 2008 from Rs 10.02 crores to Rs 23.54 crores. Not surprisingly the number of crorepatis now part of the assembly has increased from a mere 63 percent to 93 percent with overall 203 of 218 reporting their assets in crores. KEW assessed these figures by analysing the self-sworn affidavits of the MLAs.
KEW did a detailed analysis of the assets of MLAs on party basis, individual basis, and the ones who have been re-elected. Congress has led the front also in terms of the value of assets per candidate in elections. The average candidate assets for Congress stood at Rs 7.35 crores, BJP Rs 3.78 crores and JDS at Rs 1.28 crores. The ones who have been re-elected have also shown a 72 percent in their assets. The average assets of 92 re-elected members have risen from Rs 17.53 crores to Rs 30.15 crores. The figures certainly point to the fact as to how being selected as people’s representative not only gives our MLAs an opportunity to serve them, but is also a great business opportunity. Most of these MLAs are infrastructure developers, builders, liquor barons, and mine owners, a trend that certainly questions whether they really want to represent people or leverage their diversified businesses.
The picture is also not very bright in terms of number of MLAs with criminal cases registered against them ranging from attempt to murder, kidnapping to sexual violence and harassment of women. 74 out of 218 MLAs have declared criminal cases against them. This percentage has risen from 20 to 34 percent. Out of these 5 MLAs have murder-related cases against them, while 11 are charged under Prevention of Corruption Act. The figures though might not be as surprising to the people of Karnataka as in last few years it has emerged not only as one of the fastest growing but also one of the most corrupt states the country. The previous government was involved in a number of controversies related to charges of corruption and illegal ownership of government land and coal mines. How will the current Congress government will fare in its term, only time will tell, but our MLAs do give a tough time to some of the best businessmen in our country in terms of stashing up more assets year after year.