As reported by Himanshi Dhawan of TNN in timesofindia.indiatimes.com on 06 May 2009:
Guns, trucks among RS ministers' assets - India - The Times of India
Guns, trucks among RS ministers' assets
NEW DELHI: PM Manmohan Singh may jet across half the world to meet world leaders but he appears most comfortable in his Maruti 800. While the PM
has retained the car long after it went out of fashion, law minister H R Bharadwaj's preoccupation appears to be guns -- he owns two of them -- when not parrying questions on Q.
Civil aviation minister Praful Patel is on top of the world in more than one respect. He also happens to be the richest Cabinet minister from Rajya Sabha with a combined worth of Rs 46.8 crore. These include land holdings/flats owned by Patel, his wife and four dependent children in prime locations like Napeansea Road and Worli in Mumbai.
These are part of the details disclosed by the Rajya Sabha secretariat on its members who are also in the Union Cabinet. The disclosure was made in response to a Right to Information query filed by applicant Subhash Chandra Agarwal asking for asset declaration of ministers' and their kin.
There are 18 members of the Rajya Sabha who are currently in the council of ministers. Of the lot, water resources minister Saifuddin Soz has not filed his returns as the stipulated 90 day period prescribed for filing declaration of assets for him is not over yet while details submitted by G K Vasan were found incomplete.
If Patel is on top of the heap, defence minister A K Antony has the least financial muscle with a combined worth of Rs 17.9 lakh. Petroleum minister Murli Deora follows Patel at the top with a combined worth of Rs 35 crore while minister of state for industry Ashwani Kumar is a distant third with assets worth Rs 8.7 crore. Kumar and sports minister M S Gill (worth Rs 2.5 crore) have larger investments in shares and mutual funds than others.
If the PM's choice of vehicle is surprising despite his combined worth of Rs 4.3 crore, so is HRD minister Arjun Singh's. The latter owns four Tata trucks while parliamentary affairs minister Vayalar Ravi and power minister Sushilkumar Shinde own Fiats.
Tourism minister Ambika Soni is not too badly off with a combined worth of Rs 7.5 crore including Rs 3.32 lakh in silver utensils and properties in Panchsheel Park in Delhi, land holdings in Haryana and Uttar Pradesh owned by her husband. MoS (Prime Minister's Office) Prithviraj Chavan has a combined worth of Rs 2.8 crore while MoS external affairs Anand Sharma, his wife and sons have assets worth Rs 2.5 crore.