A total of 151, or 83 per cent, of the 182 MLAs elected in the recent Assembly polls in Gujarat are ‘crorepatis’ (worth over Rs 1 crore), up from 141 in the 2017 polls, as per a study conducted by the Association for Democratic Reforms and Gujarat Election Watch.
IMAGE: Gujarat assembly. Photograph: Courtesy Gujarat Information/Twitter
The study showed the ruling BJP has 132 crorepati MLAs, followed by 14 of the Congress, all three Independents, and one each of the Aam Aadmi Party and the Samajwadi Party.
The Bharatiya Janata Party won the seventh straight term in Gujarat by winning a record 156 seats in the 182-member House.
Of these 151 ‘crorepati’ legislators, 73 have assets of more than Rs 5 crore and 73 have assets in the Rs 2 crore to Rs 5 crore range.
The average assets per winning candidate in Gujarat now stands at Rs 16.41 crore, almost two times the figure for 2017, which was Rs 8.46 crore.
The richest legislators are BJP’s Mansa MLA JS Patel (Rs 661 crore), Siddhpur MLA Balvantsinh Rajput (Rs 372 crore), also of BJP, and BJP’s Rajkot South MLA Ramesh Tilala (Rs 175 crore), the study showed.
The study by ADR, which works for electoral reforms and prepares such reports after analysing the self-sworn affidavits of legislators, stated that 74 MLAs were re-elected and their assets had grown by an average of Rs 2.61 crore, which is a rise of 40 per cent when compared to 2017.
Assets of BJP MLA Babubhai Patel grew from Rs 32.52 crore in 2017 to 61.47 crore in 2022, an increase of nearly Rs 28 crore, while that of BJP MLA Harsh Sanghavi grew from Rs 2.12 crore in 2017 to Rs 17 crore in 2022, an increase of Rs 15 crore.
The third spot on the list of assets’ rise was taken by BJP MLA Jagdish Vishwakarma, who saw a growth of Rs 14 crore in five years from Rs 14.75 crore to Rs 29.06 crore.
The study shows six winning candidates are Ph.Ds, 19 are post-graduates, 24 are graduates, six are diploma holders, 86 have studied between Class V to XII, while seven have declared themselves just as “literate”.
On the age front, two MLAs are 29 years old, while two are 75 years old.