Ten BJP MLAs in Chhattisgarh, who are set to contest in the first phase of the assembly elections, have registered a 362 per cent increase in assets, with CM Raman Singh being the highest gainer. The worth of his assets grew by Rs 4.56 crore, from Rs 1.04 crore in 2008. Assets of the two Congress MLAs, also contesting this time, increased by 157 per cent.
This has been revealed in an analysis of affidavits of 143 candidates contesting in the first phase of elections prepared by the Association of Democratic Reforms and Chhattisgarh Election Watch.
Overall, recontesting candidates from the nine parties in the fray have recorded a 260 per cent increase in assets and 17 per cent of all candidates are crorepatis. Fifteen candidates (6 per cent) have declared criminal cases against themselves, six of them in heinous crimes like murder and kidnapping. Of these, 11 per cent each are from the Congress and BSP and 17 per cent from the BJP.
A study of Raman Singh’s affidavits for 2008 and 2013 shows that apart from appreciation of property prices, the increase in his assets is also because of increased acquisitions. His own possession of gold increased from 23 tola to 57 tola and that of his wife Veena Singh increased from 55 tola to 217 tola. Silver possessed Veena went up from 8 kg in 2008 to 18 kg in 2013. She also added fertliser and dairy farm assets worth Rs 1.72 lakh.
Bank deposits of Raman Singh went up to more than Rs 23 lakh in 2013 from a little above Rs 6 lakh in 2008. That under the Hindu undivided family head increased from Rs 6,000 to Rs 22 lakh.
Apart from Singh, who is contesting from Rajnandgaon, the top seven gainers are BJP MLAs with each of them registering an asset increase of more than Rs 1 crore. These are Vikram Usendi (Antagarh), Subhau Kashyap (Bastar), Kedarnath Kashyap (Narayanpur), Baiduram Kashyap (Chitrakot), Santosh Bafna (Jagdalpur) and Mahesh Kumar Gagda (Bijapur). Gagda also notched up the highest relative growth in assets — 1,466 per cent.