The Congress party is facing a financial crunch but its lawmakers seem to be doing fairly well for themselves. Nearly half of the 20 MLAs with the highest incomes in the country belong to the Congress, a new study has found.
According to electoral watchdog Association of Democratic Reforms (ADR), the top 20 features nine Congress MLAs and only three from the BJP.
Previous reports by ADR show the Congress receiving Rs 225 crore as overall donations in 2017, compared to the BJP’s figure of Rs 1,034 crore. Crippled by its financial troubles, the party also took to crowd-funding in May and appealed to the citizens to donate to the party on social media.
Also read: Faced with funds crunch, Congress taps Twitter for crowd funding
The top five The richest sitting MLA in India is N. Nagaraju of the Congress from Hoskote constituency near Bengaluru, Karnataka. Nagaraju states that his profession is agriculture and business, and annual income is Rs 104.41 crore, which is more than that of the next four persons on the list combined.
BJP’s Mangal Prabhat Lodha (Malabar Hill constituency, Mumbai, Maharashtra), is second on the list with an annual income of Rs 33.34 crore. He states he’s a salaried professional, but is also listed as the chairman and founder of the Lodha Group, a real estate developer.
Congress’s B.A. Basavaraja (K.R. Puram, Karnataka), an agriculturist and business, and H. Vasanthakumar (Nanguneri, Tamil Nadu), owner of retail chain Vasanth & Co., come in third and fourth spot.
Jagan Mohan Reddy of the YSR Congress, in fifth place, is the highest-placed MLA from a regional party, as well as the top-earner for a career politician (Rs 13.92 crore).
Lowest income At the other end of the spectrum stands B. Yamini Bala, the Telugu Desam Party MLA from Singanamala, Andhra Pradesh. Her declared annual income is Rs 1,301 — slightly more than Rs 100 per month.
Number two on the list is BJP’s Uma Devi Khatik, a retired schoolteacher from Damoh, Madhya Pradesh, whose annual income is the meagre pension amount of Rs 3,134. Khatik was in the news recently when her son threatened to shoot Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia.
Notable trends State-wise income: Nagaraju and Basavaraja are no exceptions among the MLAs of Karnataka, whose 203 MLAs have the highest total and average incomes in the country — Rs 226.09 crore and Rs 111.37 lakh respectively.
Maharashtra’s 256 MLAs are second on the list, with total and average annual incomes of Rs 111.15 crore and Rs 43.42 lakh respectively.
Gender disparity: Only eight per cent of the 3,145 MLAs whose incomes have been analysed through self-declared affidavits are women. On average, a male MLA has an income of Rs 25.85 lakh, while the average for female MLAs is Rs 10.53 lakh.
Profession: 397 MLAs have declared their profession to be ‘agriculture and business’. They also have the highest average annual income, Rs 57.81 lakh.
Educational qualification: Somewhat inexplicably, the analysis of MLAs’ educational qualifications and their incomes show that the highest average income belongs to those who have passed only Class 8 — Rs 89.88 lakh per year. >