Income of netas: One MLA declared 5,000 per cent increase in assets

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The Income Tax Department in a sealed cover submitted the names of MPs and MLAs whose income had witnessed a meteoric rise since the past two elections.

The Association for Democratic Reforms had filed an application to be impleaded as co-petitioner in the case filed by Lucknow-based NGO Lok Prahari. It contended that a number of people filing self-attested affidavits on their assets were not disclosing details of Income Tax returns.

Income of netas: One MLA declared 5,000 per cent increase in assets

According to Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) that works for electoral reforms, assets of four current Lok Sabha MPs have increased by 12 times while 22 others declared five-fold increase in their assets.

A newly-elected Rajya Sabha MP declared an asset growth of over 21 times since his last affidavit. Seven other newly elected Rajya Sabha MPs have declared two-fold asset increase, said ADR.
Citing instances of an exponential increase in assets held by lawmakers in just five years, the petitioner Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) said assets of four sitting Lok Sabha members had increased by 1,200 per cent. There was 500 per cent increase in assets of 22 other Lok Sabha members.

The ADR had cited in January that the assets of an Assam legislator with declared increase of over 5,000 per cent in his assets. In the case of another legislator, from Kerala, the increase in assets is over 1,700 per cent since the 2011 assembly elections.

The petitioner said an analysis of assets declared during the 2014 Lok Sabha elections and 2016 Rajya Sabha elections, as well as elections to Tamil Nadu, Puducherry, Kerala, Assam and West Bengal assemblies, revealed "abnormal increase" in assets of many members of Parliament and assemblies.

Lok Prahari told the court that candidates filing nomination papers were disclosing their assets and those of their spouse, children, and other dependents but not sources of income through which they came to possess these.

The NGO said some lawmakers were thriving on easy money and of the 542 Lok Sabha members, 113 have described their profession as housewife, social worker, social service and politics.

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