New Delhi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday cracked the whip on the Bharatiya Janata Party MPs, giving those who have not yet declared their assets to do so within the next 48 hours on the Parliament website.

Modi's move comes amidst a raging row in Parliament over bringing back illegally-stashed or 'black' Indian money in foreign banks in 100 days, one of the main promises of the NDA in the run-up to the general elections earlier this year.

As Modi completes six months in power, a united opposition has attacked the government in Parliament's ongoing Winter session for its failure in doing enough to recover the black money. On Tuesday evening, the government agreed to a debate on the issue in both Houses of Parliament, but ruled against allowing any vote on it.

According to a study published last month, no less than 41 or 91 per cent of Modi's ministers were crorepatis. This compares rather favourably with the United Progressive Alliance II's Council of Ministers, where 47 of 79 ministers just about 60 per cent were similarly wealthy.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley is the richest minister of the National Democratic Alliance government with assets totalling Rs.114.03 crore. Jaitley's assets rose in value from Rs.113.02 crore during the Lok Sabha polls to Rs.114.03 crore in the 2014 disclosure to the PMO. He is fond of luxury cars and has declared ownership of high-end cars like a Porsche worth Rs.1.02 crore, and vehicles from Mercedes Benz and BMW among others.

Following Jaitley on the rich list are Food Processing Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal of the Shiromani Akali Dal (Rs.108.31 crore) and Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Power, Coal and New and Renewable Energy Piyush Goyal of the Bharatiya Janata Party (Rs.94.66 crore).

The greatest decrease has been for External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj whose wealth fell by Rs.3.89 crore (from Rs.17.55 crore to Rs.13.65 crore). She is followed by Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Development of North-eastern Region Gen. (Retd) V.K. Singh of BJP who has declared a decrease of Rs.3.13 crore (from Rs.4.11 crore declared in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections to Rs.98.27 lakh declared in the disclosure to the PMO).

On the not-so-rich side, the least wealth has been declared by Sudarshan Bhagat of BJP (Rs.59.13 lakh) followed by Mansukhbhai Dhanjibhai Vasava of the BJP (Rs.65.71 lakh) and Ram Vilas Paswanof Lok Janashakti Party (Rs.95.71 lakh).

The average value of assets of Modi's Council of Ministers, according to the declarations on the PMO website, is Rs.14.32 crore.

The wealth of Modi's ministers was analysed by the Association for Democratic Reforms and National Election Watch by comparing the declarations filed for the Lok Sabha elections in May this year and those sent about five months later to the Prime Minister's Office.

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