Mirror, mirror on the wall, who's the poorest Cabinet minister of them all?
At the current level of asset disclosures, Defence Minister AK Antony, External Affairs Minister SM Krishna, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee and Home Minister P Chidambaram seem to be the poorest central ministers, according to a report in The Indian Express on Thursday.
Antony is poor as a church mouse, with assets totalling all of Rs 32 lakh, including a run-down Wagon R. And you thought defence was such a lucrative ministry graft?
Krishna, too, reported subsistence-level assets for a minister, with the value declared by him and his wife adding up to a measly Rs 43 lakh, according to the Express report. Manmohanji, here's a man who was Chief Minister of Karnataka - where the present incumbent is valued in crores and embroiled in land scams - but is now scrounging around for resources. Please give him a good raise - or, at least, a Commonwealth Games to run.
Even P Chidambaram, Home Minister and a high-priced lawyer, is not rolling in money either. Thrashing about for assets to declare, Chidambaram has been forced to declare even a bicycle in order to make sure the asset total is a respectable Rs 1.4 crore.
Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee barely makes it to the crorepati level, with assets of Rs 1.1 crore.
Compared to these breadline cases, Manmohan Singh comes across as a man of means. He has over Rs 2.7 crore locked up in fixed deposits and two pieces of property adding up to another Rs 1.7 crore. Not bad for Honest Manmohan.
The only ministers to declare assets above Rs 10 crore are Sharad Pawar, Kamal Nath and Kapil Sibal. Dayanidhi Maran didn't declare much, but what he declared is suspicious enough.
With declarations like these, Anna Hazare & Co will have a tough time making their corruption labels stick. Unless they think it is proof that everyone's hiding the moolah well.
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Updated Date: Dec 20, 2014 03:52:21 IST