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MLA candidates up to 12 times richer in 5 years

Mumbai's MLAs have,on an average,grown richer by a mind-boggling 400 per cent over the last five years.

Written by Kavitha Iyer | Mumbai |
October 12, 2009 3:23:00 am

Mumbai’s MLAs have,on an average,grown richer by a mind-boggling 400 per cent over the last five years. A comparison of the total declared assets,then and now,by the 27 MLAs who are contesting the Assembly elections again show an increase in the range of 1.5 to 12 times.

Also,of the 27 MLAs,only 10 had assets worth over a crore in 2004. Five years on,the number has doubled to 21.

The MLAs who with their new-found prosperity have joined the rank of crorepati MLAs include BJP MLA Gopal Shetty,Shiv Sena’s Subhash Desai,MLAs Ashok Jadhav,Naseem Khan,Jagannath Shetty,Kalidas Kolambkar and Annie Shekhar from Congress,Nawab Malik from NCP,MNS’s Bala Nandgaonkar and Bashir Moosa Patel of the NCP,now contesting on a Samajwadi Party ticket,

Bashir Patel,who is contesting from Mumbadevi,has become 12 times more affluent since he was last elected in 2004 with his total assets increasing from Rs 23.24 lakh to Rs 2.84 crore. According to Patel’s 2004 affidavit,neither he nor his family had any vehicles or owned a house. Patel’s family now have two cars,a Honda Civic and an Endeavour and two flats worth Rs 1.34 crore.

Next in the league of prosperous MLAs is Borivli’s Gopal Shetty whose personal wealth has swelled tenfold over the last five years from Rs 11 lakh to Rs 1 crore. In 2004,bank deposits in the Shetty household were nil. He has now declared a total of Rs 12.17 lakh in bank deposits. While their property in 2004 was restricted to Rs 3.5 lakh worth residential premises in a private slum in Borsapada at Kandivli,his wife now owns property worth Rs 81.24 lakh. Shetty’s personal jewellery is worth Rs 2 lakh,up from nil in 2004. His wife owns jewellery worth Rs 5 lakh,up from Rs 1.80 lakh in 2004.

Congress’ Bhai Jagtap from Jogeshwari has amassed almost 8 times more wealth than what he had five years before,his total assets going up from Rs 2.88 crore to Rs 20.05 crore. Jagtap’s family already owns five flats in Mumbai,of which three are in prime locations of Bandra. The MLA has now purchased a sprawling apartment in Dubai Marina and five plots of land in different parts of the state.

Another MLA who has also seen an 800 per cent increase in assets is Mangal Prabhat Lodha,the richest Mumbai MLA. The builder’s assets have leapt from Rs 8 crore in 2004 to Rs 68 crore now. In 2004 Lodha and his wife owned only a 230 sq ft office space in Vardhaman Chambers at Fort; they now have 2,980 sq ft of office space in the same building,worth Rs 2.60 crore. His recent acquisitions also include a 3,830 sq ft flat in Lodha Costiera on Napean Sea Road,Rs 44.47 lakh worth Mercedes car and Rs 1.3 crore worth jewellery.

Gopal Shetty said he is a four-time elected representative and has his own engineering works business. “Due to the Congress government’s rule over the last few years,prices have increased manifold. Land that costs Rs 5 lakh five years ago costs Rs 75 lakh now. The value of my assets too has gone up likewise and I file my returns with the income tax department,” Shetty said.

R More,Bhai Jagtap’s nephew,who handles his accounts for him,said the only new properties Jagtap has purchased are the agricultural land and the flat in Dubai,bought on loan. “Otherwise the increase in his assets is due the increase in the market value of flats already owned by him,” he said.

Bashir Patel and Mangal Prabhat Lodha were not available for comment.

Other MLAs who have had more than five fold increase in their wealth in five years include Prakash Mehta,Congress’ Janardhan Chandurkar,Kalidas Kolambkar,Sena’s Dagdu Sakpal and Congress’ Naseem Khan. In 2004,Mehta and his family owned property worth Rs 2 crore: three shops and partial ownership in a flat at Ghatkopar. Five years down the line,they have bought into more property in the form of two more shops,two offices in the Chembur-Ghatkopar area and a flat under the MLA quota. The properties add up to Rs 13 crore.

Quantum Leap
Bashir Moosa Patel
: Rs 23.24 lakh
2009: Rs 2.84 cr
Gopal Shetty
: Rs 11 lakh
2009: Rs 1 cr
Bhai Jagtap
: Rs 2.88 cr
2009: Rs 20.05 cr
Mangal P Lodha
BJP,Malabar Hill
: Rs 8 cr
2009: Rs 68 cr
Prakash Mehta
BJP,Ghatkopar East
: Rs 2.17 cr
2009: Rs 14.15 cr

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