Wednesday, March 23, 2011

DMK minister's assets rose 780 times in 5 years

CHENNAI: In five years of DMK rule, a state minister has multiplied his assets 780 times. At least that's what the official figures show. 

Tamil Nadu food minister EV Velu, contesting from Tiruvannamalai assembly segment, declared at the time of the 2006 assembly polls that his assets were worth around Rs one lakh. Apart from a 1.1-acre agricultural plot in Pinjur village worth Rs 60,000, Velu had shown cash deposits of Rs 25,000 and jewellery worth Rs 15,000 five years ago. As per his affidavit, his wife did not own any assets then. 

Now, five years later, the affidavit filed by Velu on Monday shows his assets have multiplied in every form - land, buildings, jewellery and cash deposits. The 60-year-old minister and his wife are currently worth Rs 7.8 crore. He has bank deposits running into Rs 17.47 lakh, agricultural lands worth Rs 1.75 crore, buildings worth Rs 1.25 crore and a house valued at Rs 4.5 crore. In addition, his wife has jewellery that costs Rs 5.76 lakh and agricultural land worth Rs five lakh. 

Asked about the astronomical rise in his fortunes and the source of income that helped him accumulate assets, Velu told TOI, "My assets have gone up primarily owing to the increase in their market value. The new EC guidelines which seek more information is another reason for my showing more assets. My accounts are audited regularly and I am an income tax assessee (in the 2006 affidavit he claimed that he was not an assessee) for the past 10 years. My main source of income is from agriculture. I can only say that my auditor prepared the asset details." 

The Election Commission of India has made it mandatory for all candidates contesting polls to declare their assets as well as those of their spouses, children and other dependents. State labour minister T M Anbarasan, contesting from Pallavaram assembly segment, has also seen a considerable appreciation in wealth during the five years in the state cabinet. His listed assets have increased in value from Rs 91.49 lakh in 2006 to Rs 4.95 crore in 2011. They include those owned by his wife. One of the additions is a Mitsubishi Pajero, valued at Rs 22.9 lakh. He has also bought two buildings worth Rs 25 lakh at Kundrathur in 2008 while his cash deposits have gone up from Rs 10,866 to Rs 20.6 lakh.

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