In a startling revelation, an RTI query revealed that 503 of 543 members of parliament from Lok Sabha have failed to furnish property details after getting elected in the May 2019 parliamentary elections.
According to members of the Lok Sabha Declaration of Assets Rules 2004, every member should declare their property details within 90 days of their election.
Rule 3 of the Act states that every elected candidate for the ‘House of the People’ (Lok Sabha) shall, within 90 days from the date on which he makes and subscribes an oath or affirmation for taking his seat, furnish information about the movable and immovable property of which he, his spouse and his dependent children are jointly or severally owners or beneficiaries, his liabilities to any public financial institution, his liabilities to the central or state governments.
The RTI query was filed by Nadimuddin, a Kashipur-based activist in Udham Singh Nagar district.
“Our lawmakers should realise that their conduct in every aspect holds importance. Only talks of transparency will not help. They should walk the talk and then only people will be able to place their faith in them,” The New Indian Express quoted Nadimuddin as saying.
The RTI activist added that out of total 543, four MPs have time to submit the details according to the RTI reply. “Four MPs were elected later in by-elections so technically they still have time to furnish the details,” said Nadimuddin.
The reply by Lok Sabha secretariat stated the data until December 10, 2019. It also revealed that out of 543 members, only 36 MPs submitted their details within the prescribed time limit.
Of the 36, MPs, 25 belong to Bhartiya Janta Party, 8 to All India Trinamool Congress followed by one each from Biju Janta Dal, AIDMK and Shiv Sena including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank, Minister of Textiles Smriti Irani and Minister of Law and Justice Ravi Shankar Prasad.
Interestingly, not a single MP from the Indian National Congress has submitted the requisite details.
Bigwigs who have failed to submit the details include Home Minister Amit Shah, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Indian National Congress president Sonia Gandhi and Wayanad MP Rahul Gandhi along with others.