Srinagar: If affidavits filed by sitting MLAs contesting the forthcoming Assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir are to be believed, the lawmakers are not being paid equally for their work.
Most of the sitting MLAs in J&K assembly who are seeking re-election have declared a monthly income of Rs 80,000, but there are several who have showed incomes far lower.
Nazir Ahmad Khan, a minister of state in the Omar Abdullah-led government and the National Conference candidate from the Gurez Assembly segment, has declared a monthly income of Rs 35,000 only.
Congress candidate from Inderwal, Ghulam Mohammad Saroori, too, has declared a monthly income of Rs 35,000 while Vikar Rasool Wani, a minister and the Congress candidate from Banihal, has stated that his monthly income is nearly Rs 42,000 per month.
NC candidate from Sonawari and Higher Education Minister Mohammad Akbar Lone has declared monthly income of Rs 40,000.
Opposition PDP MLA from Bandipora Nizamuddin Bhat, who is also in the fray for the first phase of polls on Tuesday, has surprisingly shown his monthly income to be Rs 82,000 per month -- more than some of the ministers.
There are some ministers, whose fate will be decided in polling on Tuesday, who have shown monthly income of more than Rs 1 lakh per month. These include NC candidates from the Kangan and Kishtwar Assembly segments, Mian Altaf Ahmad (Rs 1.04 lakh) and Sajad Ahmad Kitchloo (Rs 1.07 lakh).
According to an MLA, who did not wish to be identified, the salary of a legislator is Rs 40,000 per month.
"But we get other allowances which add up to (give a figure which is) more than the salary we get. Some legislators do not count allowances under the income head, which leads to the apparent disparity in the filing of income returns," he said.
According to Saroori, he had filed the relevant information in the affidavit as per the Form-16 issued by the competent authority.