M A I N   N E W S

Advani among 277 LS members yet to submit asset details
S. Satyanarayanan
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 13
Over 50 per cent of the Lok Sabha members, including Leader of the Opposition L.K. Advani, Deputy Speaker of the Lok Sabha Charanjit Singh Atwal and Union Ministers Laloo Prasad and Sunil Dutt are yet to furnish information regarding their assets and liabilities to the Lok Sabha Secretariat. To do so is mandatory under the Representation of People Act, 1951.

Parliament sources told The Tribune here that as many as 277 Lok Sabha members out of 543, including all the eight Shiromani Akali Dal members, Mr Atwal, former Union Minister Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, former Punjab Chief Minister’s son Sukhbir Singh Badal, Dr Rattan Singh Ajnala, Mr Sukhdev Singh Libra, Mr Zora Singh Maan, Mr Sharanjit Singh Dhillon and Mr Paramjit Singh Gulshan, are yet to submit information about their assets and liabilities to the Lok Sabha Secretariat.

In terms of Section 75A (1) of the Representation of the People Act, 1951, read with Rule 3 of the Members of Lok Sabha (Declaration of Assets and Liabilities) Rules, 2004, every elected member of the Lok Sabha is required to furnish information regarding assets and liabilities within 90 days from the date of making and subscribing an oath or affirmation for taking his seat.

A maximum of 83 members belonging to the BJP are yet to furnish the information. They include, Mr Advani, Chief Whip of the party in Lok Sabha Sushil Kumar Modi, Ms Karuna Shukla, niece of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Navjot Singh Sidhu, Dharmendra, Vinod Khanna, former UP Chief Minister Kalyan Singh, party general secretary Shivraj Singh, former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister’s brother Lakshman Singh, former Union Minister Ananth Kumar and Hamirpur MP Suresh Chandel.

Congress President Sonia Gandhi, her Son Rahul Gandhi, former Prime Minister Vajpayee and Mr Chandrashekhar, Deputy Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha Vijay Kumar Malhotra were among those who submitted their assets and liabilities information well within time, the sources said.

As to the ruling Congress, 51 Members out of 146 are yet to furnish the details. Those who are yet to submit the information include former Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Ajit Jogi, Union Minister Sunil Dutt and former Delhi Minister Krishna Tirath, the sources said.

Significantly, the CPM, which is giving outside support to the Congress-led UPA government, had recorded the highest compliance. Out of its 43 members, 41 have already submitted the information to the Lok Sabha Secretariat.

While out of 35 Samajwadi Members, 26 members, including Raj Babbar and Akhilesh Yadav are yet to submit the details, four out of eight JD(U) members, including former Defence Minister George Fernandes, are yet to furnish the details.

All nine MPs of the Nationalist Congress Party, including Mr Sharad Pawar, are yet to submit the information.

When contacted, officials at Deputy Speaker Atwal’s office said his Chartered Accountants had already prepared the assets and liabilities details and it was on its way to the Lok Sabha Secretariat. “It will definitely reach them in a day or two,” an official said.

He pointed out that as far as the declaration of assets and liabilities was concerned, Mr Atwal had already declared these in the form of an affidavit to the Election Commission while contesting the elections. As for the requirements of Lok Sabha rules, these will be complied with.

BJP Parliamentary Party spokesperson V.K. Malhotra admitted that there had been a sizeable number of members belonging to his party, who had not complied with the rules. “I have already started calling each member, who has not done so, to furnish the details within the next couple of days,” he said, adding that some of the BJP members, had promptly submitted the information, but it was rejected as it was not furnished in the prescribed Form-I.

“Those members have also been asked to furnish the information on Form-I immediately,” Mr Malhotra added.

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