The Indian Express

Victory in elections appears to multiply one's wealth, according to a study of the assets declared by candidates in Madhya Pradesh.

Across parties, 141 MLAs who are recontesting have reported a jump in their assets in the last five years. Their assets have grown from an average Rs 1.71 crore to Rs 5.81 crore, a jump over 240 per cent, since the last election.

The analysis was carried out by the Association of Democratic Reforms (ADR) and Madhya Pradesh Election Watch (MPEW).

Interestingly, it is the Congress, which has been out of power for a decade, that accounts for the three MLAs with the highest growth in assets. On top is mining baron Sanjay Pathak, the Congress candidate from Vijayraghavgarh, who has declared Rs 121.3 crore, up over Rs 87 crore since 2008 when he declared Rs 34.17 crore.

Next is K P Singh 'Kakkajoo', Congress MLA from Pichhore, who has added Rs 49 crore with a fivefold jump from Rs 11.48 crore to Rs 60.72 crore.

Third is Satyanarayan Patel, Congress candidate from Depalpur, who had Rs 30.01 crore in 2008 and who has now declared Rs 70.96 crore.

Eight recontesting MLAs have shown an at least 1,000-times rise; one's assets have multiplied 16,500 times.

Not everybody seemed to be making money, though. Four BJP MLAs claimed their assets have gone down.

ADR and MPEW analysed the affidavits of 683 of 686 candidates of the BJP, the Congress and the BSP, which has a marginal presence in the state. As many as 350 candidates are crorepatis (51 per cent) with the average assets per candidate coming to Rs 3.38 crore. The corresponding figure was Rs 1.07 crore in 2008.

The average assets of the 228 Congress candidates is Rs 5.33 crore and those of the 229 BJP candidates' Rs 4.04 crore. The corresponding 2008 figures were Rs 1.59 crore and Rs 1.05 crore.

Chetan Kashyap, a businessman who is contesting from Ratlam (city) constituency, is the richest BJP candidate with assets of Rs 120.29 crore, marginally less than Sanjay Pathak's.

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