Kolkata: Cutting across party affiliations, the average assets of 45 sitting MLAs who are re-contesting in the second phase of West Bengal Assembly polls on April 17 has almost doubled in the last five years, a report said.
According to an analysis of assets of all candidates based on their declaration in the affidavits filed before the Election Commission, the total asset value of these 45 candidates who are recontesting this time has increased from Rs 17.44 crore to Rs 34.36 crore since 2011 Assembly elections.
Percentage wise, the growth in the total asset value is 99.44 per cent, the report said.
"If we look at the profiles of the re-contesting candidates, the number of crorepati candidates has increased to 16 in 2016 from four in 2011," stated the report by West Bengal Election Watch.
West Bengal Assembly has 294 seats. Polling for 56 seats in Alipurduar, Jalpaiguri, Darjeeling, Uttar Dinajpur, Dakshin Dinajpur, Malda and Birbhum districts will be held in the second phase on April 17.
Average asset of each Trinamool Congress candidate who is recontesting in the second phase has increased by 180 per cent (about Rs 54 lakh) from 2011 to 2016, the report said.
Of the 45 sitting MLAs who are recontesting in the second phase, 24 are from Trinamool Congress.
"Out of the 24 re-contesting candidates from All India Trinamool Congress (AITC), 10 candidates had won the election in 2011 while representing other political parties and subsequently joined Trinamool Congress," the report said.
Overall, Rs 54.2 lakh is the average assets owned by all 383 candidates who are in the fray in the second phase.
Altogether 56 candidates are 'crorepatis', of whom 23 are from the ruling Trinamool Congress.