“Agreed there are so many classic examples in nation’s capital where MLAs concentrate less on development. They get good amount of development fund but would not use it properly for common man. It seems MLAs in India are doing their expansion rather than people, it is very sad,” said Geetika, a homemaker from Delhi.
In states like Punjab, Tamil Nadu, Assam and Uttar Pradesh, most of MLAs and their families declared that their average annual income is only Rs. 14.6 lakh, which is about 10 times more than average household income (Rs. 1.3 lakh) in the state. People of these states still feel that MLAs have disclosed their annual income during declaration to avoid any controversy.
Income of MLAs from states like Kerala is closer to common man, with only gap of 31%, however people in this state too believe same for their MLAs as people in other parts of the country. These figures came to light only after Election Commission made it mandatory for all peoples’ representatives to declare their assets, income tax returns, income etc. and make them available to public at time of filling nominations.
“I am not going to believe in their declarations; same MLAs become richer almost 500% in their five years’ rule. It is only common man who suffers and faces the problem of inflations, price rises etc. It is visible that they increase their assets with hard earned money of common men,” said Munsi Ram, 85-years-old man from Lucknow.
Overall figure is shocking for aam aadmi. One BSP MLA from UP declared the highest household income (more than Rs. 5 crore), followed by SAD MLA from Punjab (more than Rs. 4 crore) and AIADMK MLA (more than Rs. 3 crore).
The ADR study also found that 30% of elected lawmakers did not fill their income tax returns from past few years. Also state government had failed to take any action against them. Most of MLAs are back with excuse of no time to fill their returns and other defense like they do not have any knowledge of filling returns or they are illiterate or lack computer education, etc.
The ADR study concluded that the gap between per capita income of the electorate and the MLAs reflects the mismatch between the people and their leaders.