Sadananda Gowda had declared his net worth as Rs 9.88 crore at the time of LS nomination. Now, it is Rs 20.35 crore

He has been neck-deep in familial problems but that hasn't affected the breakneck speed at which he's surged ahead of all others in the Narendra Modi cabinet. Union Railway Minister D V Sadanand Gowda has the unique distinction of doubling his assets in the last five months. From Rs 9.88 crore, when he declared his assets during the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, to Rs 20.35 crore now, DVS seems to have shown greater financial wizardry than Finance and Defence Minister, Arun Jaitley, the richest minister in the Modi cabinet. 

The doubling of assets came to light after an in-depth analysis by the National Election Watch (NEW) and Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) which studied the declarations of Lok Sabha ministers with an increase or decrease of more than Rs 50 lakh in assets. 

DVS himself makes no bones in acknowledging this. "I completely agree with what Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) has published. After contesting the elections and before the announcement of results, I had purchased a property on BEL Road. About Rs 8 crore was raised as loan from the Federal Bank and another Rs 2 crore as rental advance. This acquisition could not be revealed as I had already submitted an affidavit before the Election Commission and I was awaiting the results. After assuming charge as Union Minister, I had the opportunity to disclose my assets and, accordingly, I have included the latest acquisition," the Union railway minister told Bangalore Mirror. 

Detailing these property deals, the National Election Watch says Gowda bought a commercial building worth Rs 13,49,000 in Puttur Kasaba Sy no 215/1C and another residential building worth Rs 11.65 crore at Chikkamaranahalli ward No/4 Matthikere, bearing P-I-D No 4-78-15. Both these investments are the main reason his nest eggs doubled. 

Notwithstanding these gains, lady luck has smiled down on DVS in his political career too. A few years ago when B S Yeddyurappa was chief minister, he tried hard to become Chairman of Karnataka Milk Federation (KMF), but failed. But his luck turned following Yeddurappa's taint in the mining scam and his subsequent resignation. Gowda became chief minister and was soon catapulted to the post of Railway Minister following the Lok Sabha elections. 

The declarations of the Union Council of Ministers to the PMO also reveals that Gowda is followed by Radhakrishnan P, Minister of State, Independent Charge, Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises, who has declared an increase of Rs. 2.98 crore: up from Rs. 4.09 crore in Lok Sabha 2014 to Rs. 7.07 crore. Jaitley's assets have gone from Rs. 113.02 crore in Lok Sabha 2014 to Rs. 114.03 crore. 

Meanwhile, the ministers' wealth gains might never have been in the public domain if Prime Minister Narendra Modi had not made it compulsory for his ministers to declare their assets immediately after getting elected. 

The watchdogs said 41 per cent of union ministers are crorepatis as per their declarations to the Prime Minister's Office. Jaitley was the richest at Rs.114.03 crore, followed by Harsimrat Kaur Badal at Rs.108.31 crore and Piyush Goyal at Rs 94.66 crore. 

The statement also said 16 ministers have shown a decrease in assets. "External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj showed a decrease of Rs.3.89 crore (from Rs 17.55 crore declared in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections). She is followed by Minister of State for Development of North Eastern Region V K Singh who declared a decrease of Rs 3.13 crore (from 4.11 crore declared during polls). He is followed by Health Minister, Harsh Vardhan, who declared a decrease of Rs 1.28 crores," the statement said. 

Despite the apparent attempt at bringing about transparency, a statement by ADR and NEW reveals that its real purpose might be defeated. "Many ministers have not given the value of many assets declared. Not declaring the value of assets is akin to not making a disclosure at all. Apart from that, some ministers have not given the present market value of the immovable assets they have declared on the PMO website. The purpose of the declaration is to encourage financial transparency," the statement said. 

"That purpose is belied when the declarations are not made in the spirit of the instructions issued by the MHA. ADR and NEW strongly recommend that asset declarations be made in a standard format, preferably in the format of the election affidavit," statement added.

© Association for Democratic Reforms
Privacy And Terms Of Use
Donation Payment Method