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|23rd April 2008, 15:39||#1|
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Netas in Karnataka make hay while the sun shines
A former MLA's wealth increases by 2000 percent in four years. A former chief minister makes Rs45.96 crore more in the same period. Another aspiring MLA has assets worth Rs71 crore.
Well, these figures are not from a fairy tale, but from the statement of assets declared by the contestants for the coming Assembly elections in Karnataka, reports The Times of India. According to the affidavits filed by 200 candidates for the first phase of the election, BJP member and businessman Hemachandra Sagar is the richest candidate with assets worth Rs71 crores.
He is closely followed by former chief minister H D Kumaraswamy. The value of the assets held by Kumaraswamy, his wife and son increased from Rs3.76 crore in 2004 to Rs49.72 crore now. Congress candidate and former minister V Somanna made Rs18.39 crore more since 2004, the total value of his assets being Rs21 crore.
But when it comes to the question of how fast the netas have become filthy rich, former Congress MLA Dinesh Gundu Rao beats all. His assets increased from almost zero to Rs20 crore, registering a 2000 percent increase over a four-year period.
It is not the politicians from big parties alone who have made a killing, even those from smaller parties have accumulated welath over a short period. BSP candidate Devadatta has declared assets worth Rs1.45 crore. The assets of another BSP candidate Ramachandra are worth Rs 1.29 crore.
While the Income Tax sleuths are after ordinary citizens who earn just enough to make a living, no agency has cared to probe how these politicians have amassed so much wealth within so short a time. There were no IT raids on the premises of these netas to unearth the real source of their income.
Curiously, the Lokayukta, a statutory body created to check corruption, has no powers to look into the shady deals of politicians. Its jurisdiction is confined to officials. Even it doesn't have powers to punish guilty officials, it can only refer their cases to the government for further action. But in majority of cases, officials booked by he Lokayukta have gone scot-free due to lack of any follow-up action by the government.
The government has not heeded to the requests from Lokayukta to give it more powers. But the irony is that it is the corrupt politicians themselves who have to grant more power to the Lokayukta. So the reason for the politicians' reluctance to keep Lokayukta as a toothless body is quite obvious.
|23rd April 2008, 16:00||#3|
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