One notable change in Gujarat is the growth of wealth of BJP legislators and ministers in the last five years.
Panchayat Minister Narottam Patel’s wealth burgeoned ten times in the last five years as per the declaration given to the Election Commission of India. Patel has been an MLA for five times and is fighting the polls again.
In the 2007 declaration, the panchayat minister valued his property at Rs 75.71 lakh. This has become Rs 7.16 crore in 2012. Same is the case with his cash holding. In 2007, Patel had Rs 29,000 in cash. In 2012, it has become Rs 2,16, 876.
Patel’s bank balance also increased manifold. From Rs 1,31, 745 in 2007, it has become Rs 7 lakh in 2012.
“Property that was worth in thousands earlier now is valued in crores. Land prices have headed north. I have not made any other income,” said Patel.
Another minister Ranjit Gilitwala also saw big leap in wealth in the last five years.
After he was promoted as minister from an MLA, his property valuation increased three times. In 2007, it was Rs 1.43 crore while in 2012 it is valued at Rs 3.7 crore.
“The gold stands as it is. The land stands as it is. And if the valuation increases that does not mean Ranjit Gilitwala was involved in scams,” said Gilitwala.
Even the MLAs were not behind.
Madhu Srivastava’s wealth reached Rs 12.29 crore in 2012 while it was Rs 1.95 crore in 2007. Yogesh Patel’s property was valued at Rs 11.34 crore in 2012 while it was Rs 2.30 crore in 2007.
Congress MP from Surat’s Bardoli constituency Tushar Chaudhary alleged that the BJP members in the Gujarat Assembly were involved in corrupt practices.
“One who was lakhpati became crorepati. The crorepatis went even beyond. It proves a point that Gujarat has developed and so has its ministers,” said Chaudhary.
How much of their wealth has been put on paper by the Gujarat BJP ministers and legislators is not known but there is no doubt that they have flourished under Chief Minister Narendra Modi.