What is the source of income of some of the prominent candidates who contested in the Karnataka elections? We analyse the source of income as mentioned in their affidavits.
The Government of India had notified new rules in April 2017 making important additions to the disclosures to be made by candidates contesting the Lok Sabha, Assembly and other State or National elections. A long pending demand to include the source of income of the candidates as a part of the disclosure was met through the changes. The changes notified by the government were necessitated by a PIL (WP (Civil) 784/2015) filed by a Lucknow based NGO ‘Lok Prahari’. One of the pleas in the PIL was that sources of income of the candidate, spouse and dependents must also be disclosed in the affidavit along with other details. Relevant changes were made in the forms like Form 2B & Form 26 to be filed by the contesting candidates.
We look at the sources of income as mentioned in their affidavits by some of prominent candidates of the recently concluded Karnataka elections and if these disclosures are adequate.
Siddaramaiah – Congress
The Congress CM candidate Siddaramaiah mentioned salary, rental & agricultural income as his sources of income while mentioning income from interest as the source of his spouse’s income.
Yeddyurappa – BJP
The BJP CM candidate also mentioned salary, rental & agricultural income as his sources of income. As per the affidavit, his spouse does not have any source of income.
Kumaraswamy – JD(S)
Of the three CM candidates, only Kumaraswamy mentioned the amount of annual income in addition to the sources of incomes. As per his affidavit, salary & agricultural income account for his sources while the sources of income of his spouse include director remuneration from a company and pension.
B Sreeramulu – BJP
B Sreeramulu who contested against Siddaramaiah in Badami mentioned his salary as a MP, distributorship of M/s Den Networks & agriculture as his sources of income. He did not mention any amount.
D K Shiva Kumar – Congress
D K Shiva Kumar who was widely hailed as the man who ensured that the Congress MLAs were together, mentioned salary, capital gains, agricultural income & other sources as his source of income. He also did not mention any amount.
G Parameshwara – Congress
G Parameshwara who was sworn in as the Deputy CM mentioned agriculture, LIC agent as the source of his income. He also did not mention any amount.
Gali Somasekhara Reddy – BJP
One of the brothers of Gali Janardhan Reddy, Somasekhara Reddy of the BJP mentioned his MLA pension & income from interest as his sources of income. He did mention the amount of income. He is also a co-accused in the cases relating to the mining scam.
Are these disclosures adequate?
The real usefulness of these disclosures is when the law enforcement agencies consider the rise in assets of the candidates who re-contest election and if such a rise is commensurate with their source of income. Even for candidates who are contesting for the first time, the assets declared should be commensurate with the disclosed sources of income. Unless that happens, these disclosures will remain a formality. Even the Supreme Court in its judgment in the PIL filed by Lok Prahari directed the government to have a permanent mechanism to inquire/ investigate into the disproportionate increase in the assets of legislators during their term.
For instance, if we look at the candidates mentioned above, the value of assets has increased for all the candidates compared to 2013, except for Sreeramulu.
|Name||Assets as per 2013 affidavit in Rs crore||Assets as per 2018 affidavit in Rs crore|
|D K Shiva Kumar||251.5||840.01|
Featured Image: Kanataka Elections