Bengaluru, Nov 16 (IANS) For the ruling BJP in Karnataka, Congress defector M.T.B. Nagaraj is a prize catch, as he declared a whopping Rs 1,223-crore worth assets in his nomination affidavit to contest in the December 5 Hoskote assembly by-election, a party official said on Saturday.
"Nagaraj has been one of the richest netas (politicians) in the country, disclosing assets worth crores of rupees on his behalf, his wife and kin whenever he contested in the state assembly polls and as he did on Friday," party's state unit spokesperson G. Madhusudana told IANS here.
Nagaraj, 66, is a three-time legislator from the prestigious assembly seat in Bengaluru Rural district, about 30 km from this tech hub. He was also the Housing Minister in the previous JD-S coalition government in the southern state from December 22, 2018 to July 10, when he resigned from the cabinet post and the assembly before previous assembly speaker K.R. Ramesh Kumar disqualified him and 16 other lawmakers of the Congress and Janata Dal-Secular (JDS) under the ant-defection law for defying their party whip.
"Though the speaker disqualified me and the Congress expelled me in July-end, the Supreme Court on November 13 allowed me to contest in the by-poll, quashing the former's order restraining me from fighting another by-poll till the assembly's remaining term ends in May 2023," Nagaraj told IANS here.
According to Nagaraj's affidavit, his net worth increased Rs 160 crore in 18 months from Rs 1,063 crore in April 2018.
"Nagaraj has disclosed depositing Rs 47.70 crore in 53 savings bank accounts of Rs 90 lakh each in August first week and another Rs 1.16 crore as fixed deposit in July," a poll official said, citing the details in his affidavit.
Nagaraj has moveable assets valued at Rs 419.28 crore while that of his wife is Rs 164.34 crore. His self-acquired immovable properties are worth Rs 417.11 crore and inherited property is worth Rs 2.64 crore.
The self-acquired properties of Nagaraj's wife Shantakumari has been shown as worth Rs 189.14 crore and inherited property is valued at Rs 27.50 lakh.
Nagaraj has Rs 27.90 crore loans outstanding in his name from banks and non-banking financial companies. He has 57 acres of farm lands at various places in his name and 4 acres of agriculture land in his wife's name.
"Nagaraj's fixed deposits accumulated and matured over the years amount to Rs 134.56 crore in 193 bank accounts, while his wife has Rs 32.40 crore as fixed deposits in her name," said the affidavit.
The candidate's immovable assets include an educational institute, wedding halls and commercial complexes in upscale localities across the city and 93 parcels of non-agriculture land in the city's suburbs.
His cars, valued at Rs 2.54 crore, include Prado, Fortuner, Mercedes Benz, Bolero and Land Rover. His wife has a Porsche worth Rs 1.72 crore.