Karnataka Energy Minister D K Shivakumar, who had organised the stay of 43 Congress MLAs from Gujarat in Bengaluru ahead of the Rajya Sabha elections last year, has reported an increase in wealth of Rs 589 crore since the 2013 assembly polls.
The five-year spike was recorded in the affidavit filed by the Congress leader while filing his nomination Thursday for the Kanakapura constituency near Bengaluru for the assembly elections on May 12. It’s the biggest such declaration yet from the over 100 candidates who have filed their nominations so far since April 17.
The 55-year-old, who aspires to be chief minister, declared a total wealth of Rs 840 crore in his 94-page affidavit, up from Rs 251 crore in 2013 and Rs 75 crore in 2008.
This time, Shivakumar has shown moveable assets worth Rs 70,94,84,974 and immoveable assets amounting to Rs 548,85,20,592 against his name. The rest of his wealth has been shown against the names of his wife and three dependents.
Seen as a protege of former Karnataka chief minister S M Krishna, Shivakumar continues to hold a significant place in the party, considering his standing as one of the few strong leaders from the dominant Vokkaliga community. He is heading the party’s campaign committee for the assembly polls.
Last year, properties linked to Shivakumar and his associates were searched twice by Income Tax officials, after he put up the Gujarat MLAs at The Eagleton Golf Resort to prevent them from being poached by the BJP and ensure that they voted for Congress leader Ahmed Patel.
Tax officials later claimed to have unearthed over Rs 300 crore of undisclosed income from the senior leader and associates.
Shivakumar has interests across various sectors, including granite exports, real estate, education and cable television through a network of companies run by him and his family members. He also owns large tracts of land around Bengaluru and on its outskirts near Kanakapura. Much of the increase in wealth shown by the Minister is attributed to an increase in the market value of land holdings.
In his affidavit, Shivakumar also cited the existence of two cases against him, including a recent case filed in an economic offences court by the Income Tax department in the aftermath of the searches carried out last year.
The BJP’s chief minister candidate B S Yeddyurappa and his arch rival from within the party K S Eshwarappa filed their nominations for the Shikharipura and Shimoga city seats, respectively, Thursday. Both reported an increase in wealth in the range of Rs 3 crore each.
Yeddyurappa, 75, who filed his nomination in the presence of Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh declared total assets of Rs 10 crore, up from Rs 6,97,46,267 in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls and Rs 1,82,30,030 in 2008.
The BJP state president reported one pending case of corruption, cheating, forgery and criminal breach of trust from 2012 against his name. In 2014, he had listed nine cases, including eight under the Prevention of Corruption Act.
A mining baron from Bellary district, Anand Singh, who recently shifted allegiance from the BJP to the Congress, reported a total wealth of Rs 117 crore, an increase over Rs 104 crore reported in 2013 and Rs 92 crore in 2008.
Singh, 50, who has cases pending against him for alleged involvement in an illegal mining racket during the BJP tenure from 2008-13, is contesting from the Vijayanagara seat in Bellary.
Among other wealthy candidates who filed their nominations Thursday was the BJP’s former deputy chief minister, R Ashok. The 60-year-old contestant from Padmanabhanagar seat in Bengaluru reported a total wealth of Rs 40 crore, up from Rs 26 crore in 2013.
Another BJP former deputy chief minister K S Eshwarappa, 70, who is contesting the Shimoga seat, has declared wealth to the tune of Rs 10 crore, compared to Rs 7 crore in 2013 and Rs 4 crore in 2008.