A little more than a week ago, the people of Tripura queued up before polling booths to vote for a new government. In a few days, the adult population of two other north-eastern States will also vote to elect a new assembly.

The results of all three elections are set to be out on March 2. This is just one similarity between the 2023 assembly elections of these three states.

A majority of their incumbent MLAs are fighting the elections this time too. All these three states have 60-member assemblies. While the entire assembly of 2018 is fighting the 2023 polls in Meghalaya, almost 90 per cent of Nagaland’s assembly (53 incumbent MLAs) is gearing up for the elections. In Tripura, 43 MLAs faced the voters on February 16.

Increase in assets

An analysis of the assets of re-contesting MLAs by the Association for Democratic Reforms shows that the average asset size of these MLAs too increased in the last five years.

“The average assets of these 43 re-contesting MLAs in Tripura fielded by various parties including independents in 2018 was ₹1.48 crore. Their average asset in 2023 is ₹2.42 crore,” notes an ADR report. In Nagaland, it has increased from ₹5.46 lakh to ₹7.1 lakh. It has almost doubled from ₹6.97 lakh to ₹12.31 lakh in Meghalaya.

We also looked at who among the MLAs in the fray have seen the maximum increase in their wealth. In Tripura, it is BJP’s Dr Dilip Kumar Das, who owned assets worth ₹1.9 crore in 2018. In 2023, it has grown to ₹8.35 crore.

Nagaland’s Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party MLA B S Nganlang Phom has seen his wealth increase 6,870 per cent, from ₹21 lakh in 2018 to ₹15 crore in 2023. In Meghalaya, the assets of United Democratic Party MLA Metbah Lyngdoh (also the Meghalaya speaker) have grown from ₹87.2 crore to ₹146.3 crore.