GOOD NEWS: Karnataka beats AP, TN, Kerala

India Today has a cover story on India’s richest politicians, compiled in conjunction with empoweringindia.org, an initiative of Liberty Institute, and by god, is it a revealing story?

In a country where over 77 per cent of the population, or an estimated 836 million people, earn Rs 20 per day and over 300 million are living below the poverty line…

India’s top-10 richest politicians, compiled on the basis of declarations made to the Election Commission, includes five worthies from Karnataka: strike rate 50%.

Three of them are from the Congress, one each from BJP and JDS.

Anil H. Lad, Congress, Rajya Sabha member: total assets Rs 175 crore

M. Krishnappa, Congress MLA, Vijayanagar: Rs 136 crore

M.A.M. Ramaswamy, JDS RS member: Rs 107.7 crore

Anand Singh, BJP MLA, Vijayanagara: Rs 239 crore

N.A. Harris, Congress MLA, Shanti Nagar: Rs 85.3 crore

Amazingly, out of the 224 MLAs in the current legislative assembly in Karnataka, 116 are crorepatis. Strike rate:  51.7%.

By comparison, 71 out of Andhra Pradesh’s 294 MLs are crorepatis (strike rate: 24.14%), 31 out of Tamil Nadu’s 234 MLAs are crorepatis (strike rate: 13.2%), and only 5 out of Kerala’s 140 MLAs are crorepatis (strike rate: 3.5%).

D.K. Shiva Kumar, Congress MLA, Kanakapura: Rs 75.6 crore

Santosh S. Lad, Congress MLA, Kalghatgi: Rs 75.3 crore

Hemachandra D. Sagar, BJP MLA, Chickpet: Rs 55 crore

Shamanur Shivashankarappa, Congress MLA, Davanagere: Rs 45.3 crore

H.D. Kumaraswamy, JDS MLA, Ramanagaram: Rs 39 crore

N.S. Nandisha Reddy, BJP MLA, K.R. Pura: Rs 36.2 crore

J. Krishna Palemar, BJP MLA, Mangalore City North: Rs 35 crore

***

How is a State, which ranks below the other three southern States on most parameters and human development indices, soaring head and shoulders above the competition in the rich scales?

If these are numbers only for public consumption—to humour the babus of the election commission, as it were—what must the true, unvarnished wealth of the State’s representatives be?

Is the wise voter really concerned with these obscene numbers, beyond their voyeuristic value, that is?

Hopefully, “Operation Kamala” will put an end to this?

Also read: Dabbu dabbu dabbu dot namma election dot com

Everybody is stark naked in the public bathroom

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