WB: 10 crorepatis in Mamata`s ministry
Kolkata: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has as many as 10 crorepatis (multi-millionaires) among her ministers, according to the valuation of assets on the basis of their affidavits submitted along with their nomination papers for the April-May assembly polls.
Animal Resource Development Minister Nure Alam Chowdhury, a former judge, of Trinamool Congress tops the list with assets worth over Rs 9 crore. His annual income clubbed with that of his wife is close to Rs 30 lakh while their bank balance and other investments sum up to Rs 1.57 crore. Their immovable assets including inherited properties are valued at Rs 7.5 crore.
Chowdhury is closely followed by Finance Minister Amit Kumar Mitra, also from Trinamool, with assets in excess of Rs 7 crore. The former FICCI secretary general`s annual income inclusive of his wife`s is close to Rs 49 lakh. Mitras` immoveable assets are valued at Rs 3.83 crore and their other assets amount to Rs 3.25 crore.
Inland Water transport Minister and former Indian Police Service officer Hyder Aziz Safwi - again from Trinamool - is the next in the list possessing assets of over Rs 5 crore. Safwi and his wife have an annual income in excess of Rs 15 lakh.
Planning and Development Minister Manish Gupta, a former Indian Administrative Service officer and first-time legislator of the Trinamool, has assets over Rs 3 crore. Gupta`s annual income along with that of his wife`s is in excess of Rs 40 lakh. Gupta, a former state chief secretary, humbled his erstwhile master and then chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee in the assembly polls.
Urban Development Minister Firhad Hakim (Trinamool) also finds a place among the multi-millionaire ministers possessing assets over Rs 3 crore. Hakim along with his wife has an annual income in excess of Rs 36 lakh.
Consumer Affairs Minister Sadhan Pande (Trinamool) also makes the grade, having properties in excess of Rs 2 crore while his annual income clubbed with that of his wife is over Rs 6 lakh.
Pande`s assets in the last five years have grown by 82 percent. He had also contested in the 2006 assembly polls and his assets then, as per his affidavits, were worth Rs 1.28 crore.
The lone non-Trinamool minister in the list is Irrigation Minister Manas Bhuniya of the Congress. Bhuniya`s annual income along with his wife`s is Rs 9 lakh and his properties are valued over Rs 1 crore. His assets too over the past five years have grown by 61 percent. The value of his assets since 2006 has increased by Rs 75 lakh.
Paschimanchal Unnayan Affairs Minister Sukumar Hansda, Agricultural Marketing Minister Arup Roy and Sports Minister Madan Mitra (all Trinamool) also have assets or properties worth over Rs 1 crore.
In all, there are 47 multi-millionaire legislators in the 294-member assembly with assets ranging between Rs 1 crore and Rs 12 crore. The richest of them all is Trinamool`s Swapan Kanti Ghosh.
In contrast to her ministerial team, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee as per her 2009 Lok Sabha polls nomination details has total assets of Rs 4.73 lakh with neither a car, nor a house. Banerjee, known for her spartan lifestyle, lives in a tile-roofed house in an obscure lane in south Kolkata`s Kalighat.
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