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Posted at: Jan 25, 2017, 2:14 AM; last updated: Jan 25, 2017, 1:41 PM (IST)

Rich experience for ‘poorest’ MLA

Rich experience for ‘poorest’ MLA
Seema Kumari

Vishav Bharti

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 24

BJP’s Seema Kumari, the “poorest legislator” in the outgoing Punjab Assembly, has literally gone from rags to riches with her declared wealth witnessing a phenomenal growth over the past five years.

Since 2012, the Bhoa MLA’s assets have grown almost 30 times. In the affidavit filed before the 2012  elections, she had declared assets worth Rs 2.81 lakh. She was described as the poorest candidate and later the poorest MLA in the state.

Then Kumari and her husband had declared around Rs 60,000 in their accounts and Rs 35,000 in cash. Besides, they owned a 1999 Maruti 800 car valued at Rs 55,000.

Kumari, who is recontesting from the reserved seat in Pathankot, in her recently filed affidavit has declared assets worth Rs 81 lakh. She now has around Rs 50 lakh in various bank accounts. This includes Rs 11 lakh each in the accounts of her teenaged daughter and son, Rs 10.52 lakh in her own account and Rs 4.75 lakh in her husband’s account. Besides, she owns a 2013 Mahindra XUV 500 valued at Rs 7.5 lakh, and a Swift Dzire car purchased a few months ago for Rs 7.39 lakh. Kumari declared an annual income of Rs 14.17 lakh in her income tax return filed last year.

In 2008, Kumari became the sarpanch of Lahri village and in 2012 the youngest MLA at 33. Her husband Vinod Kumar, BJP’s state working committee member, says he looks after their 3 acres. “An MLA gets Rs 1 lakh (MLA’s salary was hiked from Rs 15,000 to 25,000 a month in March 2015, minus the benefits) besides allowances. Going by her salary, the average income is Rs 90 lakh in ‘white’. We have submitted less,” he added.

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