From 2018 to Now: How K’taka’s Rebel MLAs’ Wealth Changed

While many of the rebel MLAs have seen a change in fortunes since 2018, bypoll results will prove public perception.

3 min read
For the third time in 2 years, Karnataka is in election mode.

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.


MTB Nagaraju

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.

Anand Singh

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.

Byrathi Basavaraj

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.

K Gopalaiah

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.

There were also certain MLAs who saw only a nominal increase in their wealth.

AH Vishwanath

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.

BC Patil

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.

ST Somashekhar

2018: Rs 14 crore

2019: Rs 14 crore

In Yeshwantpura, ST Somashekhar’s assets remained unchanged at Rs 14 crore.

Interestingly, there were also a few who saw a decline in their total wealth.

Ramesh Jarkiholi

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.

Srimant Patil

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

“No one from the BJP has spoken to the MLAs in Mumbai. We have no role in the rebellion. They are disgruntled leaders.”
CM Yediyurappa in July

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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