As per a report by the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR), D K Shivakumar, who became Karnataka’s Deputy Chief Minister, holds assets worth over ₹1,400 crore, making him the richest MLA in the country. On the other hand, an MLA from West Bengal has assets below ₹2,000. The next two richest MLAs are also from Karnataka.
According to the ADR’s list of richest MLAs, KH Puttaswamy Gowda, an independent MLA, ranks second with assets worth ₹1,267 crore. Following him is Priya Krishna of the Congress, with assets totaling ₹1,156 crore.
When questioned about his assets, Mr. Shivakumar clarified that while he may not be the richest, he is not poor either. He stated that these assets have been acquired over an extended period and are held under the name of an individual. He emphasized that he is neither the wealthiest nor impoverished.
Among the top ten richest MLAs, four are from the Congress and three from the BJP, leading to a heated exchange of criticism between the two parties.
Congress MLA Rizwan Arshad remarked, “Individuals like Mr. Shivakumar are businessmen, and there’s no issue with that. However, we must also scrutinize BJP MLAs, particularly those facing allegations of involvement in mining scams.”
In response, the BJP retaliated, accusing the Congress of favoring wealthy individuals. “Our party has taken appropriate action against those involved in mining scams. The Congress seems to have an affinity for wealthy individuals,” stated Suresh Kumar, a senior Karnataka BJP leader.
Ranked 23rd among the richest MLAs is Gali Janardhan Reddy, a mining tycoon who was formerly associated with the BJP but later formed his own party. A significant portion of his assets is reportedly held in the name of his wife, Aruna Lakshmi, who contested the Karnataka Assembly elections representing the newly-formed party, Kalyana Rajya Pragati Paksha.
At the opposite end of the wealth spectrum, Nirmal Kumar Dhara, a BJP MLA from West Bengal, has declared assets worth just ₹ 1,700. Following him is Independent MLA Makaranda Muduli from Odisha with ₹ 15,000 in assets, and Narinder Pal Singh Sawna from AAP in Punjab, whose assets amount to ₹ 18,370.
Karnataka dominates the list of the country’s 20 richest MLAs, with 12 representatives in that category. The state also boasts the highest percentage of MLAs with assets worth ₹100 crore or more, at 14%. Following closely behind is Arunachal Pradesh, where 4 out of 59 MLAs are billionaires, making up 7% of the total.