Deccan Chronicle
Tanveer Thakur

Politics as a career could well be the best option it seems. Youngsters could aspire to opt for it as it is apparently resistant to vagaries of economic slowdown and also provide a shield to criminals.
A testament to this fact is a report which says out of the 77 MLAs who are seeking re-election in Punjab, 18 MLAs have criminal cases pending against them.
Also the average assets of these MLAs has increased as it was `4.6 crores in 2007 to `10.7 crores in 2012, registering a growth of 133 per cent in five years. Moreover, it happened at a time when the whole world was facing an economic slowdown.
These revelations are made by a recent survey by Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) and Punjab Election Watch (PEW).
As per the study, out of the 18 legislators seeking re-election, five MLAs are facing serious criminal cases, like murder, attempt to murder, kidnapping, robbery etc.
The concerned agencies also compared their asset values and it found that the 77 candidates possess wealth worth many crores. Kewal Singh Dhillon of Indian National Congress(INC) registered the maximum growth in his assets.
His assets grew by over `71.67 crores, followed by Sukhpal Singh whose assets increased by over `47.8 crores. Close on to him is a Gurpreet Singh Kangar, MLA from Rampura Phul, who has recorded 1,066 per cent increase in his assets. His worth was `99 lakhs during the 2007 Assembly elections and now he has declared assets worth `11 crores.
A similar growth pattern was observed in the assets of SAD MLA Bikramjit Singh Khalsa who’s worth is `5 crores this time compared to `5 lakhs in 2007. His assets have increased by a whopping 1,033 per cent.  

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