The Times of India

CHENNAI: The assets of 396 sitting MPs contesting again in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections have grown by 145% on average and partywise, DMK leads the pack with a nearly six-fold rise (562%) in the wealth of its MPs in the last five years. 

According to Association of Democratic Reforms, which analysed the election affidavits of candidates who are also sitting MPs, P Balaram of Congress, who is contesting from Mahabubabad in Andhra Pradesh, has topped the list with a 4,187% increase in his assets — from Rs 1.71 crore in 2009 to Rs 73.71 crore in 2014. 

DMK, which fielded six of its sitting MPs, has seen the assets of its nominees increase by Rs 15.5 crore per MP on average. The party's Sriperumbudur candidate S Jagathraskhakan's assets grew 1,220% - from Rs 5 crore to Rs 78 crore, the second highest increase among the sitting MPs. 

While the assets of Congress MPs have grown by an average Rs 9.82 crore per head, that of BJP candidates have increased by Rs 8.15 crore. 

In real terms, the wealth of Gaddam Vivekanand of Congress (Peddapalle, AP) has shown the maximum rise — of Rs 193 crore — followed by Naveen Jindal (Rs 177 crore), also of Congress. 

"There is a general perception that the value of assets increased due to rise in land value. But in almost all the cases, the growth in assets is much more than the increase in the land value," ADR founder Jagdeep Chokkar told TOI. Congress has fielded the maximum number of sitting MPs with 155 of them trying their luck in 2014, followed by BJP, which has 89 sitting MPs as candidates. 

But not all MPs' assets have gone up. Fourteen of the 396 MPs contesting again have shown a drop in the value of their assets. Among them is Jagadambika Pal, who switched over to BJP from Congress. Kishore Chandra Suryanarayana Deo Vyricherla of Congress, contesting from Araku constituency in Andhra Pradesh, has seen his assets drop by 83% — from Rs 24 crore in 2009 to Rs 4 crore in 2014. Similarly, Rajkumari Rajna Singh (Pratapgarh, Uttar Pradesh) of Congress has declared assets worth Rs 18 crore, though he was worth Rs 67 crore when he contested in 2009. 

Party asset rise (%) 

DMK 562 TRS 334 SP 250 BJP 158 Cong 143 

Source: Association of Democratic Reforms

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