From Modest Beginnings to Millions: The Astonishing Wealth Surge of BJP's Dalit MP — Ramesh Jigajinagi

Here is how the veteran leader’s assets grew by 10,000% in two decades amid urbanization and strategic investments.
Ramesh Jigajinagi
Ramesh JigajinagiPhoto: Meta

New Delhi: A study by the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) has revealed a dramatic increase in the wealth of 71 parliamentarians over the past decade, with their assets growing by around 286 percent. Among these MPs, none stands out more than Ramesh Chandappa Jigajinagi — a Lok Sabha member of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) from Vijayapura and a veteran Dalit leader.

Jigajinagi’s financial journey is nothing short of remarkable. Over two decades, the assets acquired by him and his late wife Shobha skyrocketed by 100 times. A career politician, Jigajinagi has seen his wealth increase by an astounding 4,189 percent in the last 10 years and around 10,000 percent over 20 years, with most of his assets being self-acquired.

His children, who manage a solar farm, vineyards and wineries, contribute to this substantial growth.

Jigajinagi attributes his wealth surge to the skyrocketing land prices due to urbanization.

In 2004, he declared assets worth Rs 54 lakh, which have now ballooned to Rs 54 crore — marking a 10,000 percent increase over 20 years. By 2009, his assets had grown to approximately Rs 1.18 crore, reaching Rs 8.94 crore in 2014 and further soaring to Rs 50.41 crore by 2019 — a 4,189 percent rise.

Elected for his seventh Lok Sabha term from Vijayapura, Jigajinagi served as the Union Minister of State for Drinking Water and Sanitation from 2016 to 2019.

Reflecting on his financial growth, he recalls starting in 2004 at the age of 52 without a PAN card, declaring assets of Rs 54 lakh and liabilities of Rs 75,000. By 2009, his assets increased to Rs 1.17 crore, with liabilities of Rs 39 lakh.

In 2014, his assets jumped to Rs 9 crore while liabilities dropped to Rs 16 lakh. By 2024, his liabilities had grown to Rs 6.8 crore due to loans from companies and a relative.

Interestingly, the last five years saw only a marginal increase in his assets, with a rise of around Rs 3 crore. The value of his immovable properties decreased from Rs 43 crore to Rs 27 crore, while his movable properties — including shares in a solar energy company and a winery — increased from Rs 3 crore to around Rs 20 crore.

Jigajinagi's extensive properties include agricultural land, non-agricultural and commercial properties in Atharga, Bhutnal, Vijayapura, Shamarajapura and Rabindranath Tagore Nagar in Bengaluru.

He acknowledges the growth in his assets — emphasizing their legality. “The growth in my assets is not just 100 times, it may be more in fact because property prices keep appreciating all the time,” he explains.

He credits his late wife for her wise investments, particularly in land far from Vijayapura and Bengaluru that later became prime urban areas.

Born to Chandappa, a landless laborer in Atharga village, Jigajinagi earned a BA degree and became a devoted follower of Janata Parivar leader Ramakrishna Hegde. He rose to prominence in northern Karnataka, serving in various political roles — including as a member of the legislative assembly and as a cabinet minister in Karnataka.

Jigajinagi’s political career is notable for his versatility, having won multiple elections across different parties. He triumphed in the Chikkodi Lok Sabha seat three times with three different parties — the Janata Party, the Janata Dal and the Lok Shakti.

After his mentor Hegde’s death in 2004, he joined the BJP and has since won three consecutive general elections. Out of the 10 elections he has contested, he has lost only once — showcasing his enduring popularity and political acumen.

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