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Fastest way to become rich: Become an MP

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  • viji
    Fastest way to become rich: Become an MP 5 May 2009, 0035 hrs IST, TNN
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 1, 2009
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      Fastest way to become rich: Become an MP
      5 May 2009, 0035 hrs IST, TNN

      http://timesofindia. indiatimes.com/File-Fastest- way-to-become-rich-Become-an- MP/articleshow/4484286.cms

      NEW DELHI: It was not just political parties whose bottomlines showed
      impressive growth when their strength rose in Parliament, even many
      MPs who were elected in 2004 saw the value of their assets increase
      significantly once they were in Lok Sabha.

      An analysis of affidavits of about 258 sitting MPs recontesting the
      2009 Lok Sabha elections shows that more than half of them saw their
      assets grow between 100% and 9,100% in comparison to what they had in
      2004. The growth in assets in some cases could also be due to some MPs
      having started from a low base.

      The affidavits of recontesting MPs were analysed by Association of
      Democratic Reforms, an election watch group having dean of IIM
      Bangalore Trilochan Sastry and former CEC J M Lyngdoh as members
      besides other eminent personalities from academics, bureaucracy and
      judiciary.

      Topping the chart is BSP’s Mohamad Tahir from UP who saw his assets
      grow by more than 9,100% between 2004 and 2009, followed closely by
      BJP’s C H Vijayashankar from Karnataka who recorded 6,500% growth in
      his assets. Congress’s Sachin Pilot and B Vallabhaneni from Andhra
      Pradesh registered 1,700% and 1,100% growth respectively in their
      wealth.

      But not everyone was as fortunate. Former Karnataka chief minister and
      Congress aspirant S Bangarappa’s long absence from power seems to have
      had its impact on his balancesheet too. His assets declined by at
      least 80% since 2004. Similar is the condition of his fellow partyman
      from J&K Choudhary Lal Singh, who is second from the bottom after
      Bangarappa in the evaluation chart. His assets declined by nearly 70%.

      Other major losers include Prasanna Kumar of BJD (-66%), Ranjeeta
      Ranjan who recently joined Congress in Bihar (-40%), former Delhi
      Police supercop Nikhil Kumar of Congress (-33%), Gurudas Dasgupta of
      CPI (-9%) and Mohammad Taslimuddin of RJD (0%).

      Some of the known political faces have not been as impressive. Sonia
      Gandhi’s assets, according to ADR, have grown by 60%, while her son
      Rahul Gandhi has posted a growth of 414%, better than Delhi CM Shiela
      Dikshit’s son Sandeep Dikshit (377%) and Congress candidate from Andhra Pradesh
      L Rajagopal (in news for assets worth Rs 300 crore) with growth of
      just 43%.

      In fact, many of the stalwarts in Congress have performed better in
      terms of increase in their assets value than their party president.
      Besides Pilot, Santosh Mohan Dev has seen his assets zoom by more than
      700%, Jyotiraditya Scindia (430%), lottery king Moni Kumar Subba from
      Assam (214%), Kapil Sibal (101%), and Pranab Mukherjee (77%).
      "Politics has become a huge money making business, next to none. With
      no barriers, and none answerable to, this seems to be the only
      business not affected by recession of any kind," said Sastry.

      Jagdeep Chhokar, former director of IIM Ahmedabad and founder member
      of ADR, said, "There needs to be lot more transparency in where and
      how the assets of these elected representative is going up."

      A similar study conducted by ADR earlier based on the income tax
      returns of major political parties had revealed that cash flow of many
      of these parties had been almost directly proportional to their
      electoral success. Assets of Congress, BJP, Samajwadi Party, BSP, CPM
      and CPI grew between 3% to 41% annually in the five years between 2002
      to 2006.

      Anil Bairwal, national coordinator of ADR said, "When the economic
      condition of the country continues to go down, it is of great concern
      to see the bank balance of these politicians go skywards. Politicians
      must answer to public about this trend."


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