August 31, 2006

Our crorepathi ministers

Now we know how much our ministers are worth. It's something we all wanted to know, but couldn't bring ourselves to ask when politicians make eve-of-poll vote-getting visits to our neighbourhoods. Must say, Deccan Herald has done a good job, reporting in detail the Lokayukta statement on the assets declared by our legislators/ministers. The DH online version doesn't fully reflect the coverage given in the print edition.

The newspaper not only gives details of assets of those who have declared their wealth, but has also listed the 53 MLAs/MLCs who failed to furnish the mandated information within the two-month grace period that expired on August 31. A couple of defaulters are reported to have claimed they were unaware of the Lokayukta deadline. A likely story. An MLA reportedly blamed his PA for the failure to communicate in time details of the MLA's assets to the Lokayukta. And then a has-been minister, still an MLA, is believed to have sought an assurance that details of he declares to the Lokayukta be held confidential.

Our elected representatives may have many virtues, but transperancy is not one of them, for at least 53 of our legislators. Of course, we can rely on them to raise their voice for our right to information, so long as it doesn't have anything to do with their information.

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