Himachal legislators get wealthier; 44 crorepatis

Written by Agencies | Dharamsala | Updated: Dec 24 2012, 09:05am hrs
HpAmongst all the major parties, INC has 10 MLAs out of 36 whereas BJP has three out of 26 MLAs who have declared criminal cases against themselves
With the new Himachal Pradesh legislators all set to take over the reins of the state, the assets of its legislators have shown an unprecedented rise, in some cases the wealth has swollen more than 1,500 per cent.

Bumber Thakur, Congress MLA from Bilaspur, has declared the highest percentage increase in assets of 7,463 per cent, from Rs 1.35 lakh in 2007 to Rs 1.02 crore this year.

Rajiv Sanhjal, a BJP MLA from Kasauli (SC), has shown a percentage increase of 1,936 per cent in assets, from Rs 1.53 lakh in 2007 to Rs 31.15 lakh in 2012.

BJP MLA from Jhanduta (SC), Rikhi Ram's assets went up by 874 per cent, from Rs 13.41 lakhs in 2007 to Rs 1.30 crores.

Brij Behari Lal Butail, a Congress MLA from Palampur, is the richest legislator with 169 crore assets under his belt, followed by Balbir Singh Verma, who won as independent from Chopal in Shimla (joined Congress later). He has declared 41 crore assets.

Chief Minister elect Vir Bhadra Singh was at the fourth position in the list with Rs 33 crore figure.

The data was released by ADR (National Election watch) here today.

There are a total of 44 crorepati MLA's including 26 Congressmen.

ADR's representative Abha Baiya said here that Palampur MLA, Butail, has declared the highest increase in assets at Rs 77.29 crore. His assets have grown from Rs 91.92 crore in 2007 to Rs 169.21 crore in 2012.

Assets of Anil Kumar, son of former communication minister Sukh Ram (a Congress MLA from Mandi) were increased by Rs 26.59 crore, from Rs 3.11 crore in 2007 to Rs 29.70 crore in 2012.

Assets of GS Bali (Congress MLA from Nagrota) have risen by Rs 21.03 crore, from Rs 3.81 crores in 2007 to Rs 24.85 crore in 2012.

Rajiv Bindal, who was re-elected from Nahan constituency at BJP ticket, has shown assets increase of Rs 4.82 crore, from Rs 1.60 crore in 2007 to Rs 6.42 crore in 2012.

Surprisingly, three MLAs have reported a decrease in their assets.

BJP MLA from Arki, Govind Ram, has shown 29 per cent reduction in his assets, from Rs 65.66 lakh in 2007 elections to Rs 46.60 lakh. Similarly, Congress MLA from Dalhousie Asha Kumari had a 33 per cent dip in assets. Mansa Ram also had a 48 per cent asset decrease.

Another official of the organisation, Ramesh Mastana, said that out of the 68 newly elected MLAs, 14 MLAs or 21 per cent have criminal cases against them.

In 2007 Assembly elections, 26 MLAs or 39 per cent of the total, had criminal cases against themselves.

Amongst all the major parties, INC has 10 (28 per cent) MLAs out of 36 whereas BJP has three (12 per cent) out of 26 MLAs who have declared criminal cases against themselves.

Out of 68 legislators, five have been facing serious criminal cases like kidnapping, abatement of suicide, forgery etc.

He said that 82 per cent MLAs (56 out of 68) have a graduate or a higher educational qualification in the Himachal Pradesh legislative Assembly of 2012.

Seven are just high school pass, five are class 12 pass, 23 are graduates, 14 are graduate professional, 18 are post graduates and just one Dhani Ram Shandil of Congress from Solan has a doctorate degree.

Three out of 68 (4 per cent) newly elected MLAs are women. In 2007, 5 MLAs were women.

18 MLAs out of total 68 are more than 61 years of age.