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Do candidates reflect their original net worth before elections?
The Indian constitution states that any candidate contesting election needs to declare her/his movable and immovable assets. The declaration of assets and liabilities are supposed to help voters form an opinion on possible misuse of power but even this could not be spared from the hold of corruption.

Before the upcoming elections, Sonia Gandhi declared her net worth to be Rs 9.3 lakh. After a series of scams during her tenure, how is it even believable that her net worth is less than a number of other politicians? International news website Huffington Post pegged Sonia?s worth at Rs 12,400 crore. Maybe the huge amount of money residing safely in Swiss bank accounts explains the undervaluation of the net worth of the leaders.

Market values declared have a large difference with the actual value. And for some, the value of their assets does not budge even after five years. The reports and analysis itself suggest that the net worth of politicians increases dramatically during their term as elected representatives. The media dutifully compares the latest figures with the ones declared only a few years earlier and marvels at the talent our politicians have of acquiring huge money in a short span of time. But nobody asks for explanations behind the unreasonable increase.

Lok Sabha speaker Miera Kumar?s two bunglows in Delhi were declared at Rs 2.4 crore and 4.95 crore; their real values being 12 crore and 26 crore respectively. Mayawati in 2009 declared a house under her name to be worth 61.86 crores but experts said that it would have been worth Rs 429 crore. Every leader from ex Delhi CM Shiela Dikshit to Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde, from Sushma Swaraj to Rajnath singh is found to be undervaluing their assets or not declaring them at all to hide the significant unreasonable increases. And the most common excuse given by the politician stands to be the rise in prices of the already owned properties.

But the same politicians with their so called ?net worth? suddenly are found to be in possession of costly movable and immovable assets when raided like in the case of YSR Congress MLA Kapu Ramachandra Reddy. Politics has become just a money-spinning business tool for most of the politicians with generations of family involved in it. And most definitely, it is on the expense of the common man who elects them with some hopes, that these politicians build a huge balance.

Surely, there are people who work towards exposing these politicians but the power these politicians accumulate over the years overpower all other efforts and they are let free. What explains almost the 50 percent growth in the net worth of the politicians! It is the leaders who need to realize their responsibilities now. Because no matter how many committees we set to check on them, corruption finds its way.

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of merinews.com. In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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Vibhav Kant Upadhyay
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