Union ministers grow richer since 2009: Poll watchdog

Greater Kashmir

New Delhi, Sep 15: Ministers in Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s government have grown richer by an average Rs 10 crore since the 2009 general elections, says a report by an election watchdog.
 Among the ministers who have gained the most in the past two years, Dr S Jagathrakshakan of DMK tops the list with an increase of Rs 64.5 crore – from Rs 5.9 crore in 2009 to Rs 70 crore 2011, according to the analysis by by Association for Democratic Research (ADR) and National Election Watch (NEW).
 Jagathrakshakan, Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting, is followed by Heavy Industries Minister Praful Patel, who has increased his assets by Rs 42 crore – from Rs 79.8 crore in 2009 to Rs 122 crore in 2011.
 Urban Development Minister Kamal Nath of Congress is the third richest minister who saw his assets grow by Rs 26 crore – from Rs 14 crore in 2009 to Rs 41 crores in 2011, the report said.
 The watchdog said it has derived the figures after comparing the assets declared during the 2009 general elections, which is available in the Election Commission website, and the 2011 declaration put out in the PMO website.
 Percentage wise, the highest increase has been for Jagathrakshakan whose assets have grown by 1,092 per cent in the past two years.
 He is followed by Panabaka Lakshmi of Congress with a growth of 828 per cent in her assets and Tusharbhai Chaudhary, also Congress, with a growth of 705 per cent in his assets.