6 J-K ministers seeking re-election in 1st phase 'crorepatis'

Srinagar: All six ministers of the National Conference-Congress government, seeking re-election in the first of the five-phase elections in Jammu and Kashmir, are 'crorepatis' with one of them reporting a staggering 1,565 per cent increase in his net worth in the past six years.

National Conference candidate from Gurez constituency Nazir Ahmad Khan alias Gurezi has declared assets worth Rs 2.12 crore. In the affidavit filed along with his nomination papers for the November 25 polls, the three-time MLA from Gurez has declared assets which include two-thirds share of a guest house owned by him and his wife in a posh Srinagar locality.

In the 2008 assembly elections, Gurezi had declared assets worth Rs 12.73 lakh, including those owned by his spouse.

Gurezi, who was inducted into the Omar Abdullah-led council of ministers in January last year, has purchased most of the these assets in 2009.

He has declared that land worth Rs 57 lakh was inherited while the remaining assets were self acquired. According to the affidavit, Gurezi's monthly income is only Rs 35,000 while his spouse, a government employee, earns Rs 13,000.

Forest Minister Mian Altaf Ahmad, who is seeking a fifth consecutive term from Kangan assembly seat in Ganderbal district, has shown an appreciation of over 450 per cent in his assets in the last six years.

Ahmad had declared assets worth Rs 1.77 crore in 2008 assembly elections while it has shot up to Rs 8 crore in the affidavit for this year's assembly polls.

The highest jump in terms of actual amount has been declared by National Conference candidate and Minister of State for Home Sajad Ahmad Kitchloo, who is seeking a third term from the Kisthwar assembly constituency.

Kitchloo, whose father represented Kisthwar in the assembly for two terms before him, had reported a net worth of Rs 10.50 crore in 2008 state polls. At present, his assets stand at Rs 22.50 crore.

Former Speaker and now Education Minister Mohammad Akbar Lone, who is also seeking a third term from Sonawari assembly constituency, has reported 115 per cent appreciation in the value of assets owned by him.

Lone'e net asset worth was Rs 3.50 crore in 2008 elections which has shot up to Rs 7.6 crore. Lone has reported the increase in value of his assets despite showing lesser assets this time.

He owned five residential houses in 2008 which has come down to four while his land holding also came down from 5.6 hectares six years ago to 4.75 hectares now.

Roads and Buildings Minister and Congress candidate from Doda Abdul Majid Wani, who is seeking a third term, has reported an increase of nearly 700 per cent in the value of his assets in the past six years.

Wani had declared assets worth Rs 28 lakh in 2009 assembly elections while this year he has reported assets worth 1.84 crore.

While assets worth Rs 99 lakh were inherited by the minister, the rest of his wealth is self-acquired.

Housing and Urban Development Minister Nawang Rigzin Jora, the Congress candidate from Leh assembly seat seeking a third term, has reported 35 per cent increase in the valuation of his assets.

Jora was worth Rs 3.0 crore in 2008 while he has reported a net worth of Rs 4.12 crore in the affidavit filed along with nomination papers for this year's polls.

Fifteen assembly segments will go to polls on November 25 in the first phase of election.

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