The Times of India

Maharashtra boasts of more crorepatis in its legislative assembly than even Haryana, with 88% of its MLAs in the crore-and-above club, compared to only 83% in the northern state.

In fact, 253 of the 288 MLAs in Maharashtra have declared assets above Rs 1 crore, of which 80 have assets worth more than Rs 10 crore and 10 have assets exceeding Rs 50 crore. Topping the chart with the highest assets is BJP MLA Mangal Prabhat Lodha, elected from Malabar Hill, who has declared assets over Rs 198 crore. A close second is Samajwadi Party candidate Abu Azmi, elected from Mankhurd Shivaji Nagar, with declared assets of over Rs 156 crore.

The analysis, done by Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR), also shows that average assets of MLAs have increased from Rs 4.99 crore in the 2009 assembly elections to Rs 10.87 crore in the 2014 assembly elections. Ajit Ranade, state coordinator of ADR, said all data is based on affidavits filed by the candidates. "A large majority of people in Maharashtra remain poor, but the people's representatives only seem to be getting richer. We do not mean to say that the people's representatives need to be poor, but we observed that the average wealth of candidates has doubled compared to the last assembly elections. Another important pattern that emerges from the data analyzed is that the winner or second runner-up is mostly the richest candidate who has filed his/her nomination from the constituency," he said.

A party wise break-up indicates that 85% of the BJP's 122 MLAs, 86% of the Shiv Sena's 63 MLAs, 95% of the 41 MLAs from the NCP and 91% of the 42 Congress MLAs analyzed, declared assets more than Rs 1 crore. "While 95% of NCP MLAs are crorepatis, 85% are from the BJP. There does not seem to be much of a difference between party-wise percentages as most are on the higher end," added Ranade.

A total of 87 MLAs declared liabilities of Rs 1 crore and above. Of these, nine have declared liabilities of Rs 10 crore and above. Legislators with the highest liabilities are the BJP's Mangal Prabhat Lodha (Malabar Hill), Bahujan Vikas Aaghadi's Hitendra Thakur (Vasai) and BJP's Ashish Deshmukh (Katol).

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