Punjab's BJP legislators top list for increase in assets

Punjab's BJP legislators top list for increase in assets

If the average increase in the assets of Punjab’s Bharathiya Janata Party  (BJP) MLAs are anything to go by, the saffron party MLAs in this border state have become the richest among all re-contesting party candidates in the last five years of their rule.

An analysis of the average increase in assets of all re-contesting BJP MLAs shows a leap of 236 percent in declared wealth, the highest among both the Congress and the Akali Dal re-contesting candidates.

The BJP MLAs on an average grew richer by over Rs 6 crore in wealth in their present term. For the Congress in the opposition, the average increase in assets stands at 159 percent.  

Three of the re-contesting BJP ministers show a big increase in assets since last time. Leader of BJP Legislative group Tikshan Sud’s assets grew by 155 percent in five years while those of BJP minister Satpal Gosain grew by 204 percent.

BJP MLA Sukhpal Nannu has registered the highest increase in assets in terms of rupees (605 percent) among all re-contesting MLAs since last assembly elections in 2007.

There are six MLAs including Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal who show a drop in their net worth in last five years. Badal lost 27 percent of his assets, according to a report by the National Election Watch on Friday.

The BJP re-contesting MLAs may have shown highest increase in assets, yet among the individual re-contesting MLAs, Sukhpal Singh Khaira of the Congress tops the list.

His assets increased by a whopping 2,282 percent, an increase from Rs 2 crore to 52 crore this time.

Among the richest in the Punjab election is Congress’ Kewal Singh Dhillon whose collective assets including those of his wife are the highest at Rs 136 crore. Dhillon owns watches worth Rs 17 lakh.

The net worth PPP chief Manpreet Badal, the estranged scion of the Badal family, grew by 205 percent, an increase of Rs 19 crore in five years.  

The report also brings to the fore the taint in many of the re-contesting MLAs.

Out of the 77 candidates re-contesting, as many as 18 have pending criminal cases.

Of these five MLAs are facing serious charges including murder, kidnapping and attempt to murder.
As many as 10 Congress candidates have pending cases in Courts.

The Akali Dal has 7 such candidates while the BJP has one.

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