There is no denying the fact that politics is a very profitable profession. A report, prepared by the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) and Gujarat Election Watch (GEW) which was published on Monday, reveals that the assets of sitting Gujarat MLAs re-contesting the elections grew by an average of 273% in the last five years.
The report has been prepared on the basis of affidavits filed by the candidates with their nomination papers from constituencies going to polls in the first phase of assembly elections next month.
There are 56 sitting MLAs contesting the polls in the first phase. In 2007, the assets of these MLAs, on an average, were worth Rs1.61 crore. The worth of these assets had gone up to an average of Rs6.03 crore in 2012, the ADR report says.
The average growth in assets of MLAs fielded again by different parties this year, is Rs 4.41crore and the average percentage growth in the assets for these re-contesting MLAs is 273%. According to the ADR report, Congress MLA from Manavadar, Jawaharbhai Chavada, had shown the highest increase of Rs 64 crore in his assets. In 2007, his assets were worth Rs18 crore; this had grown to Rs82 in 2012. The worth of BJP MLA Parshottam Solanki’s assets has increased by Rs26 crore. From Rs 11 crore in 2007, the worth of his assets had grown to Rs 37.61 crore in 2012.
BJP MLA from Rajula, Hira Solanki, is the brother of Parshottam Solanki. His assets have grown by Rs22 crore — from Rs12 crore in 2007 to Rs34 crore in 2012.
The assets of BJP MLA and candidate from Sanand constituency, Kama Rathod, rose in value by Rs 22.90 crore — from Rs1.55 crore in 2007 to Rs24.46 crore in 2012. His assets grew by 1469% in the last five years. The assets of BJP MLA, Bhavna Makwana, who is the party’s candidate from Mahuva this year, have shown an increase of 2275% in value — from Rs3.67 lakh in 2007 to Rs87.35 lakh in 2012.
The tribal leader and only MLA from JD(U) Chhotu Vasava, who is also the candidate from Jhagadia (ST), has declared the highest percentage increase — of 2860% — in assets. The value of her wealth and property grew from Rs9.15 lakh in 2007 to Rs 2.70 crore in 2012. On the contrary two MLAs have reported decline in the worth of their assets in 2012 as compared to 2007. They are Congress MLA from Jambusar, Kiran Makwana and BJP MLA from Rajkot South Govind Patel The worth of Makwana’s assets fell by 45% reduction— from Rs 21.54 lakh in 2007 to Rs 11.93 lakh in 2012. The value of Patel’s assets declined by 22% — from Rs 1.48 crore in 2007 to Rs 1.16 crore in 2012. Talking about the report, founder-member of ADR, Ajit Ranade, said: “Gujarat is the only state in the country where election watch is being organized for the third time.”