BENGALURU: The total declared worth of the city’s 198 former councillors exceeds Rs 1,100 crore — an average of Rs 5.6 crore per councillor.
These numbers come from affidavits filed by them for 2013-14. Only 25 of them have filed affidavits for 2014-15.
T Puneeth, an RTI activist who did the arithmetic, believes this is just an indicative figure based on the declared assets. If the undeclared assets are added, the figure will be much higher, says Puneeth, who has been analysing their affidavits for the last six months.
A BBMP councillor is entitled to an honorarium of Rs 7,500 a month, with a telephone allowance of Rs 1,000. An additional Rs 400 is given as meeting allowance.
“I was at the BBMP one day, and I saw councillors arriving in their luxury cars to attend a meeting. This got me thinking about how much they are actually worth,” Puneeth said.
Avenues of Income
According to Prof Trilochan Sastri, former dean of the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore, this cumulative figure isn’t surprising.
“In fact, it is comparable to the assets declared by legislators. It is not a pre-requisite that these corporators earn only through the BBMP. They may have other sources of income too,” he said.
The assets of MPs are much higher. In the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, the average worth of the winner was around Rs 14.7 crore, while that of all contesting candidates was about Rs 3.16 crore, he explained.
The Rs 5.6 crore average may look high, but if a councillor owns a few properties in Bengaluru, then it is not such a scandalous figure, according to Sastri.
Gold Club: The total declared amount of gold owned by the councillors comes to about 60 kg. Also, one out of every five corporators owns a Toyota Innova. Councillors also own super luxury cars, such as Mercedes Benz, Jaguar, Audi, BMW and Land Rover.
Calculated party-wise, the last ruling party, the BJP, is the richest. The total declared assets of all BJP councillors (111) stand at about Rs 724 crore, while those of Congress councillors (65) come to about Rs 289 crore.
The net worth of JD(S) corporators (15) is about Rs 81 crore, while that of independent candidates (7) is around Rs 12 crore.
When asked about councillors’ affidavits for 2014-15, BBMP administrator Vijay Bhaskar said, “Only 25 have filed them. They have to file the affidavits within a month of the commencement of the new financial year.”
The rules state that if councillors don’t file affidavits, they automatically cease to be corporators. “However, since no action was taken then, there is no question of taking any action now as their term is over,” Vijay Bhaskar said.
Meet the Richest Rep
According to data available with Express, the net declared worth of Ramamurthy Nagar corporator M Revanna (BJP) is more than Rs 199 crore, according to his affidavit. He is the richest among the 198 councillors. Revanna has also declared a loan of Rs 35 lakh. According to Puneeth, about 60 per cent of all councillors hold assets of a crore and above.