NEW DELHI : The seventh Delhi assembly is richer, much older and slightly less educated than the previous one. Sample this: the number of crorepatis chosen by Delhi in 2020 is 52 against 44 in 2015.
A report by Delhi Election Watch and Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR), which analysed the self-sworn affidavits of all the 70 newly elected Delhi MLAs, revealed that average assets of a Delhi MLA stood at Rs 14.3 crore now, up from Rs 6.3 crore in 2015. Interestingly, the average in 2013 was higher at Rs 10.8 crore than 2015. The figure stood at Rs 2.8 crore in 2008.
The average assets of the 45 MLAs who have been re-elected have also gone up from Rs 7.9 crore in 2015 to Rs 8.9 crore in 2020.
The reason for this undulating trend of average assets of MLAs going up and down can be ascribed to two gentlemen — Aam Aadmi Party MLA from Mundka, Dharampal Lakra, and former Shiromani Akali Dal MLA Manjinder Singh Sirsa. Lakra, a first-time MLA, has declared assets worth Rs 292.1 crore in his self-sworn affidavit, which makes him the richest Delhi legislator ever.
The title was earlier with Sirsa, who had won the 2013 elections from Rajouri Garden and declared assets worth Rs 235.5 crore. Sirsa couldn’t win in 2015, but later won a bypoll in 2017, making him the richest MLA again. SAD didn’t contest the 2020 assembly elections.
The five richest MLAs in the assembly are all from AAP. Apart from Lakra, the richest legislators are RK Puram’s Parmila Tokas (Rs 80.8 crore), Patel Nagar’s Raaj Kumar Anand (Rs 76 crore), Rajouri Garden MLA Dhanwanti Chandela (Rs 56.9 crore) and Uttam Nagar’s Naresh Balyan (Rs 56.3 crore). Of the 52 crorepati MLAs, 45 are from AAP and seven from Bharatiya Janata Party.
Given its landslide victory, it is no surprise that the poorest five MLAs are also from AAP. The poorest MLA remains AAP’s Rakhi Bidlan, who was one of the youngest and poorest legislators in the 2015 Delhi assembly too, with assets worth Rs 18,000. This time around, she has declared assets worth Rs 76,421, which includes Rs 40,000 cash in hand. The other four MLAs include Burari MLA Sanjeev Jha (Rs 9.6 lakh) who has won with a record margin, Sadar Bazar MLA Som Dutt (Rs 11.9 lakh), Kirari MLA Rituraj Jha (Rs 14 lakh) and Palam MLA Bhavna Gaur (Rs 14.2 lakh).
The number of MLAs who have declared their educational qualification between 8th and 12th pass is 23, down from 24 in 2015. However, the number of MLAs who have declared having an educational qualification of graduation and above has also come down from 43 to 42. Five MLAs have declared diplomas, compared with three in 2015.
The number of ‘young’ MLAs has come down drastically from 2015, when 49 were in the age bracket of 25 to 50 years. This time, the number of MLAs aged between 25 and 50 years has gone down to 39. There are 31 legislators who are 51 years or above this time around, up from 20 in 2015. However, with 45 MLAs getting re-elected, one has to take into account that all of them have aged by five years. The MLAs now, however, are much younger compared with 2008 when 40 were more than 51 years.
Eight MLA-elects are women, highest since 2008. In 2015, the number of women MLAs was six and three in both 2013 and 2008. While the average asset of a Delhi MLA is Rs 14.29 crore, the average assets per MLAs for 62 AAP MLAs is Rs 14.96 crores and eight BJP MLAs have average assets worth Rs 9.10 crore.
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