Assets Of Several Ministers, MLAs Multiply Manifolds In Last 6 Years

17 December 2014
The Daily Excelsior
Nishikant Khajuria

Jammu: It may sound incredible but is true that assets of some politicians, particularly the Ministers and MLAs in the Omar Abdullah-led coalition Government in Jammu and Kashmir have witnessed unprecedented increase during the last six years. Taj Mohi-ud-Din, senior Minister from Congress, has maximum rise in total assets with an increase of 1637 percent, from Rs 1.11 crores to Rs 19.43 crore from 2008 to 2014. He is followed by Dr Bashir Ahmad Shah of National Conference and Abdul Gaffar Sofi of PDP while the average asset growth of 45 re-contesting MLAs in the ongoing Assembly election, is 107 percent. This has been revealed officially from the information, provided by the Election Commission of India on the basis of the affidavits provided by the contesting candidates in the Assembly polls. The Ministers and MLAs from the ruling alliance partner Congress have led the tally of those with highest increase in assets among the winners of 2008 Assembly polls with an average increase of 414 per cent in their assets. Bharatiya Janta Party, which has given mandate to only two of its total eleven MLAs this time, has followed the tally with an average increase of 164 per cent in their assets while the assets of PDP, NC and JKNPP MLAs have registered an increase of 104, 50 and 129 percent, respectively. However, on the other hand, there are five re-contesting candidates from National Conference, including Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, who have shown a decrease in their assets since 2008. Total assets of Omar Abdullah have decreased by 81 per cent, from Rs 3.51 crore in 2008 to Rs 65.69 lakh in 2014 while his party MLA from Nowshera, Radhay Sham Sharma has declared a decrease of 69 per cent in his total assets, from Rs 10.02 crore in 2008 to Rs 3.13 crore in 2014. Taj Mohi-ud-Din, whose assets have registered an increase of Rs 18.31 crore from Rs 1.11 crores to Rs 19.43 crores during the last six years, has, however, not declared the value of four vehicles, two agricultural lands, one non-agricultural land and five commercial buildings in 2008. Bashir Ahmad Shah, now a National Conference candidate from Bijbehara constituency, who was elected in 2008 from Rajpora on PDP mandate, has declared an increase of 834 per cent in his total assets during the last six years. Shah's total wealth has increased by Rs 8.82 crores from Rs 1.05 crores in 2008 to Rs 9.88 crores in 2014. Total assets of Abdul Gaffar Sofi, PDP's candidate from Home Shalibagh constituency, have risen by Rs 4.17 crores from Rs 8.6 crores in 2008 to Rs 12.77 crores in 2014. The average increase in assets of 18 re-contesting MLAs of National Conference in the past six years was 50 per cent (from Rs 2.45 crore in 2008 to Rs 3.67 crore in 2014), while seven re-contesting MLAs from main opposition, PDP, have declared an average 104 per cent increase in their assets, from Rs 1.78 crore in 2008 to Rs 3.64 crore in 2014. All the three re-contesting MLAs of the Panthers Party have declared an average increase of 124 per cent in their assets from Rs 29.74 lakh in 2008 to Rs 68.04 lakh in 2014. Assets of Raman Bhalla have increased from Rs 50.93 lakh to 3.23 crores ( 635 percent), Tara Chand from Rs 75 lakh to Rs 2.47 crores ( 227 percent), Dr Manohar Lal Sharma from Rs 31 lakh to Rs one crore (328 percent), Ajaz Ahmed Khan from Rs 73 lakh to Rs 1.47 crore (100 percent), Mufti Mohd Sayeed from Rs 61 lakh to Rs 1.62 crores, Nawang Rigzin Jora from Rs 3 crores to Rs 3.68 crores (20 percent), Harshdev Singh from Rs 43 lakhs to Rs 91 lakhs (111 percent), Balwant Singh Mankotia from Rs 10 lakh to Rs 54.35 lakh (418 percent), Sham Lal Choudhary from 31 lakh to Rs 1.33 crores ( 98 percent) and Jagdish Raj Spolia from Rs 23 lakh to Rs 2.32 crores (885 percent), The BJP candidate from Bishnah, Ashwani Kumar Sharma has declared an increase of 3532 per cent in his assets from Rs 2.28 lakh in 2008 to over Rs 82 lakh in 2014. Haji Mohammad Ashraf, NC contesting MLA from Sopore has declared an increase of 20011 per cent in his total assets in the past six years, from just Rs 90,000 in 2008 to Rs 1.81 crore in 2014. The total assets of Mohammad Khalil Bandh, PDP candidate from Pulwama have increased by 9,564 per cent (from Rs 2 lakh in 2008 to Rs 1.93 lakh in 2014).