Money can buy you anything…
Paisa bolta hai (Money speaks)…
Money hai toh honey hai… (If you have money, then you will surely get your love)
You must have surely heard some of these phrases. Looks like our political parties truly believe in that.
Politics has always been a game of money especially in our country since the last 15-20 years or so. Gone are the years when ministers were there who really worked for the people, supported them and had good intentions of making some change.
Today all what they are worried about is what are the assets they have gained, how much money they have looted from people and what’s the future of this strategy. Before every election, one gets to know the wealth of the ministers which runs in crores. This is because they are supposed to declare their wealth. But who knows how much is really declared?
But a recently filed Right to Information (RTI) application on finding the incomes of the political parties has showed that Congress is by far the richest party around with an income of 497 crore in 2009-10. Some of the facts found were –
- Aggregate income of Congress has increased by 1,518 crores from 2002 to 2009 while the assets have gone up by 42%
- BJP and BSP have declared their incomes for 2009-10 as 220 crore and 182 crore respectively
- The maximum growth in total asset from 2002-03 – 2009-10 has been shown by BSP (59%). But here too Congress is leading the way…
- Congress has also shown the maximum bank borrowing of 49 crores followed by BJP of 13 crores
The interesting aspect of this study is the fact that regional parties like NCP, BSP etc have had an increase in their income and assets over the years. This is due to the fact of more industrialists funding politicians and also politicians making money through different means like various industrial projects (and we are talking about their 5-fold Salary increase).
Then there is also Mayawati who is increasingly worried about making her statues and spending tax payer’s money on that.
All the democracies of the world have transparent rules about declaring wealth, assets etc. There are specific laws for political parties as to what all they should declare. But we are a special democracy wherein such rules are sadly broken each and every day.
What do you think can be done to increase transparency in this case?