SRINAGAR: In the last assembly session held in summer capital, a first time legislator from North Kashmir called the major opposition, National Conference (NC) in J&K Legislature, as industry allegedly for its members amassing wealth. He invited wrath from a lady member of the party and later NC Secretary General walked up to the Kupwara MLA and had a brief chat before resolving the issue.
However, almost a year later, an investigation carried out by a newspaper reveals how a few of the J&K lawmakers have amassed huge wealth during their single stint as MLA.
Of them six MLA who have registered over 500% increase in their assets, three belong to NC, two to ruling PDP and one to Congress party.
Though most of the J&K lawmakers returning to the House have had their assets improved greatly, the survey details of which were gathered by using RTI and the affidavits submitted by the contestants at the time of elections, there are 12 MLAs whose assets doubled between 2008 and 2014, the two elections J&K witnessed. Seven lawmakers each had their assets surging by 200 percent and 300 percent, respectively. Six MLAs quadrupled (400%) their assets in six years. There are three MLAs each with their assets improving by 500% and 1000% and one whose assets underwent an increase by nearly 2000%, a record of sorts.
This topper is none other than PDP lawmaker Kahlil Bandh, who is three time lawmaker from south Kashmir Pulwama. He had declared his assets in 2008 assembly elections at Rs 2, 00,000 which went to a record of Rs 19327885 which makes a record 9664% increase.
The lawmaker playing second fiddle to Bandh, according to the survey, is Nazir Ahmad Khan Gurezi, who is serving as MLA for third time as well.
In 2008, he had shown his assets at Rs 12, 73,500. Six years later, his declared assets are at Rs 21,191,000 which makes a net increase by more than Rs 1.9 crore, making a percentage increase by 1564%. This NC lawmaker is currently the Deputy Speaker of the Assembly.
Third lawmaker is from Congress. He is Vikar Rasool Wani, who has been representing the party from Banihal. In his last tenure he handled power as MoS. In 2008, he declared his assets at Rs 5,54,000 which surged to Rs 9429686 at the time of declaring his 2014 assets. In a span of six years, his assets had a net surge by Rs 8875686 which makes a 1602% increase in assets.
PDPs, Syed Basharat Bukhari, who was recently moved from Revenue to Horticulture Ministry, albeit after a controversy, falls at No 4. This third time legislator from Sangrama had declared his assets at Rs 32, 60,000 in 2008. In the last election in 2014, he put his declared assets at Rs 28,153, 162 making a net increase of Rs 24,893,162. That makes a percentage increase in six years by 764%.
At No 5, is NCs Mubarak Gul. He has been perpetually being elected to the House from Eidgah in Srinagar and was Speaker of the house last time. In 2008, he had declared his assets at Rs 5,615,000 which surged to Rs 41,540,000 in 2014. This makes a net increase of Rs 35,925,000 making an increase in assets by 640 percent.
The improving assets have not been male specific. In the list at No 6 is NCs Shamima Firdous who won her election for the second time from Haba Kadal. In 2008, her declared assets were at Rs 5,860,000 which improved to Rs 37,880,000. In a span of six years, her assets improved by 32,020,000 which makes an appreciation by 546%.
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