Dropouts, unlettered Gujarat MLAs earn more than graduates: ADR

Ahmedabad: Gujarat MLAs who are either unlettered or have school-level education are earning more than legislators who are graduates or possess higher degrees, according to an NGO’s report published Monday.

The report, prepared and published by the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR), an NGO which works for electoral reforms, also suggested that the average annual income of 161 of the total 182 MLAs of Gujarat is Rs 18.80 lakh. The report on annual income, profession and educational qualifications of MLAs was prepared by the ADR and its affiliate ‘Gujarat Election Watch’ after scanning the poll affidavits filed by all the 182 legislators ahead of the assembly polls last year.

Of the 182 MLAs, details about annual income of 21, including independent MLA Jignesh Mevani, were not available as these lawmakers have not mentioned anything about it in their respective poll affidavits, said an ADR release. A detailed analysis of the affidavits of the remaining 161 MLAs has revalued that their average annual income is Rs 18.80 lakh, the release said. While BJP MLA from Vadhwan, Dhanjibhai Patel, leads the pack with an annual income of Rs 3.90 crore, woman BJP MLA from Vadodara, Seemaben Mohile, remains at the bottom of the chart with a meagre annual income of Rs 69,340.

Of these 161 MLAs, 33 have mentioned ‘business’ as their profession, while 56 legislators said they are ‘farmers’. Remaining have shown various other professions such as real estate and social work. While the average annual income of 63 ‘graduate’ MLAs came to Rs 14.37 lakh, the same for 85 MLAs, whose ‘educational qualification’ ranges between 5th and 12th standard, stood at Rs 19.83 lakh, the release said. Interestingly, the average annual income of four “illiterate” MLAs came to Rs 74.17 lakh, much higher than the earnings of those who are literates, it added.

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