From 2018 to Now: How K’taka’s Rebel MLAs’ Wealth Changed
While the mass resignations of Congress and JD(S) MLAs enabled the fall of the coalition government led by former CM HD Kumaraswamy, the futures of 13 rebel MLAs now depend on whether or not they are able retain their seats, as they are contesting this time on a BJP ticket.
Not just that, the 5 December bypolls are also crucial to ensure that the BJP retains power in the state.
An analysis of the assets declared by the disqualified MLAs in their election affidavits this time shows that for many of them, the last 18 months have been lucrative. The Assembly polls of May 2018 had resulted in their election as MLAs.
2018: Rs 1,015 crores
2019: Rs 1,200 crores approx
Let’s start with the Assembly constituency of Hoskote from where the infamously wealthy MTB Nagaraju is contesting. Already the richest MLA in the country, Nagaraju’s wealth has grown by a whopping Rs 185 cror from 2018 to touching Rs 1200 crores at present.
2018: Rs 117 crore
2019: Rs 220 crore approx
Anand Singh, formerly with Congress, also boasts of a remarkable increase in fortune. From having assets worth Rs 117 crore at the time of the Assembly polls in 2018, he now has amassed wealth to the tune of Rs 220 crore according to his affidavit.
2018: Rs 90 crore
2019: Rs 118 crore approx
In Bengaluru, legislator Byrathi Basavaraj, one of the richest MLAs in the state, also saw his assets increase by Rs 28 crore to touch Rs 118 crore.
2018: Rs 10 crore
2019: Rs 17 crore
K Gopalaiah, contesting from Mahalaxmi Layout, saw his wealth increase by Rs 7 crore to touch Rs 17 crore this time around.
2018: Rs 3.08 crore
2019: Rs 3.22 crore
Take for instance former JD(S) prez AH Vishwanath, contesting from Hunasuru. His total assets increased to Rs 3.22 crore from just a little over Rs 3 crores in 2018.
Dr K Sudhakar
2018: Rs 15 crore
2019: Rs 17.5 crore approx
Contesting from Chikkaballapura, Dr K Sudhakar saw his assets swell by a little over Rs 2 crore to touch Rs 17.5 crore according to his affidavit this year.
2018: Rs 5.5 crore
2019: Rs 8.5 crore approx
BC Patil, contesting from Hirekur, declared his assets to be Rs 8.5 crore, an exact Rs 3 crore increase in the last 18 months.
2018: Rs 14 crore
2019: Rs 14 crore
In Yeshwantpura, ST Somashekhar’s assets remained unchanged at Rs 14 crore.
2018: Rs 122 crore
2019: Rs 92 crore approx
Contesting from Gokak, Ramesh Jarkiholi’s assets declined from Rs 122 crore in 2018 to just over Rs 92 crore this year.
2018: Rs 54 crores
2019: Rs 30 crores approx
Similarly, in Kagwad constituency, Srimant Patil’s assets reduced to Rs 30 crore from Rs 54-odd crore in 2018.
From Denial to Acceptance
A leaked tape from an internal BJP meeting and near admissions by candidates like Jarkiholi and Vishwanath have confirmed what the Congress and JD(S) have been saying from the very beginning: That the BJP indulged in horse trading to execute this instalment of Operation Lotus.
Be it for political gains, avoiding CBI raids or simply for greater power, these MLAs made their choice when they decided to switch camps. But the results of the bypolls will reveal whether or not they have won the perception battle.
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