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BangaloreThe average asset of a minister in Karnataka is Rs. 6.96 crore, a jump of 665 per cent over the previous 2004 ministry, an NGO claimed. Karnataka Election Watch and Association of Democratic Reforms had analysed the affidavits, filed with the Election Commission, of 24 out of 27 Cabinet Ministers including the Chief Minister.

The data regarding the three remaining Ministers - S Suresh Kumar, Revu Naik Belamagi and Kota Srinivasa Poojary - were not available, Prof Trilochan Sastry of the KEW told reporters.

The average asset of Ministers in the Assembly constituted in 2004 was Rs. 91 lakh. "The average asset of a Minister in Karnataka Assembly (constituted in) 2008 is Rs. 6.96 crore. The growth in average asset per Minister was 665 per cent from 2004 to 2008," Sastry said

The average asset per MLA in the Assembly constituted in 2008 isRs. 5.98 crore for 214 MLAs analysed out of 224 MLAs (Priya Krishna of the Congress with asset of Rs. 767.61 crore was excluded as his assets were clearly an outlier). In the 2004 Assembly, the average asset of 186 MLAs out of 224 legislators analysed was Rs.1.29 crore.

"There was a growth of 364 per cent increase in average asset of MLAs from 2004 to 2008 Assembly elections", Sastry, accompanied by members of NGOs, said, adding, KEW is a network of non-political, non-partisan, citizens-led organisation.

When it was pointed out that the list of all MLAs with assets should have been given as citing astronomical increase in average assets would be "unfair" to honest among them, Sastry admitted to the "mistake" and said it would be provided later.

The average assets per MLA is the highest at Rs. 5.98 crore in the 2008 Karnataka Assembly, followed by 2011 Tamil Nadu Assembly with an average of Rs. 3.98 crore, 2009 Andhra Pradesh Assembly with Rs. 3.78 crore and 2011 Kerala Assembly with Rs. 1.43 crore.

KEW, along with NGOs, would launch a campaign on "My vote is not for sale" to counter excessive spending in elections and bribing of voters through money, liquor and gifts.

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