The average Indian MLA is not exactly an aam aadmi. An analysis of income declared by more than 1,075 MLAs across 10 states shows that an MLA's household income far exceeds that of an average family of five.
According to the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR), the income disparity between elected representatives and citizens is the widest in Uttar Pradesh.
MLAs and their families declared, on an average, an annual income of Rs. 14.6 lakh, about 10 times more than the average household income in the state (Rs. 1.3lakh).
The disparity is also evident in Punjab, Tamil Nadu and Assam.Goa's MLAs reported the highest household income of Rs. 29 lakh. The only state where incomes of MLAs are close to the common man is Kerala, with only 31% difference between the two.
The figures came to light after a new Election Commission rule made it mandatory for MLAs to make public the last time they filed their income tax returns, as well as their income.
Overall, MLAs from the 10 states declared an average personal income of Rs. 8.48 lakh and a household income of Rs. 13.66 lakh.
Uma Shanker Singh, the BSP MLA from UP, declared the highest household income (more than Rs. 5 crore), followed by SAD's Sukhbir Singh Badal (more than Rs. 4 crore)and AIADMK's A Narayanan (more than Rs. 3 crore).
The ADR also found that 30% of lawmakers elected in the past two years did not pay taxes.
"The gap between per capita income of the electorate and the MLAs reflects the mismatch between the people and their leaders," said Anil Bairwal of ADR.