Bengaluru: According to a report by the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) and National Election Watch (NEW), D K Shivakumar, the Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) president and state’s deputy chief minister, holds the title of the wealthiest MLA in the country, boasting assets worth Rs 1,413 crore. Remarkably, Karnataka MLAs dominate the list of the top 20 richest MLAs, with 12 of them making the cut. The ADR report highlights that 14% of Karnataka’s MLAs are billionaires, the highest proportion in the nation, with an average asset value of Rs 64.3 crore per legislator.
The top three positions in the list are occupied by Karnataka MLAs, with the second richest being KH Puttaswamy Gowda, an independent legislator and businessman from Gauribidanur, located 80km from Bengaluru. Gowda’s net worth is estimated at Rs 1,267 crore, with minimal liabilities amounting to only Rs 5 crore.
The third spot goes to the youngest Congress MLA in the Karnataka assembly, Priyakrishna, aged 39, who has declared assets worth Rs 1,156 crore. The ADR’s analysis encompassed 4,001 sitting MLAs from 28 assemblies and two Union Territories.
On the other end of the spectrum, Nirmal Kumar Dhara from the Indus constituency in West Bengal holds the title of the poorest MLA in India, possessing assets worth Rs 1,700 and no liabilities. Among Karnataka’s legislators, the poorest is BJP’s Bhagirathi Murulya, with declared assets of Rs 28 lakh and liabilities of Rs 2 lakh.
D K Shivakumar’s 2023 affidavit, submitted before the Election Commission, reveals that his total immovable assets amount to Rs 273 crore, and movable assets are valued at Rs 1,140 crore, while his liabilities stand at Rs 265 crore. Meanwhile, Gowda possesses Rs 990 crore in immovable assets and Rs 276 crore in movable assets.
Notably, Priyakrishna also stands out for having the highest liabilities among all legislators across the country, amounting to Rs 881 crore. His father, M Krishnappa, ranks 18th in the list of top billionaires in Karnataka.
Mining baron Gali Janardhana Reddy from Karnataka appears at number 23 on the list, with most of his assets declared in his wife, Aruna Lakshmi’s name. Aruna Lakshmi contested the 2023 assembly polls with their new party, Kalyana Rajya Pragathi Paksha (KRPP).
Karnataka’s recent assembly polls witnessed the highest number of billionaires elected in the country, with 32 of them possessing assets worth over Rs 100 crore. Among them, 19 are from Congress, nine from BJP, two from JD(S), one from KRPP, and one independent candidate.
Furthermore, the Karnataka legislature also boasts a significant number of well-educated legislators, with 62% of the 224 legislators being either graduates (50%) or postgraduates (12%).