December 6, 2023
DHAKA – In a dramatic rags-to-riches story, a member of parliament from Bogura has increased his income more than 724 times.
According to the affidavit he submitted in 2018, Reazul Karim Bablu, alias Shawkat Ali Gulbagi, the running lawmaker of the Bogrua-7 (Gabatli-Shajahanpur upazila) said he had an annual income of Tk 5,000.
However, after being an MP for 5 years, his annual income has shot up to Tk 36 lakh, shows the affidavit he has submitted to the EC for participating in the 12th national elections.
Five years ago, he had a motorbike worth only Tk 50,000. Now, he is the owner of two luxury cars worth of Tk 1.4 crore.
Not only that, in 2018, there was no immovable property in his wife’s name. But she is now the owner of a building worth of Tk.1.1 crore.
According to the 2018 affidavit, his monthly income was Tk 417. Now he earns over Tk 3.2 lakh a month.
Interestingly, his relatives’ financial ability has also improved.
In 2018, Bablu’s son-in-law Zakir Hossain voluntarily wanted to give him Tk 5 lakh for election expenses. This time, Zakir wants to give him Tk 20 lakh, according to the affidavit.
In his 2018 affidavit, Bablu mentioned that his profession was journalism and business. Though he could not earn a penny from journalism, he was getting Tk 2,000 from agricultural sector and Tk 3,000 from his business annually.
Now, Bablu earns Tk 1.80 lakh from house rent and Tk 11 lakh from his business annually. He also gets more than Tk 23.24 lakh honorarium as a lawmaker and other sources annually, according to his 2023 affidavit.
As for immovable assets, five years ago Bablu had a mud and semi-paved house in the Shahjahanpur Majhira area worth of Tk 3 lakh only. He currently has an apartment in Savar, Dhaka worth of Tk 15 lakh.
The affidavits also stated that Bablu’s wife now owns a residential building worth over Tk 1 crore. Five years ago his wife had no immovable assets.
Before the election in 2018, he had only Tk 30 thousand in cash. The amount he had in the bank was also Tk 30 thousand. Currently he has over Tk 5 lakh in cash.
Five years ago, his wife had no cash or ornaments. Now, she has Tk 2 lakh and 10 Bhari of gold (got as a marriage gift, but earlier affidavits did not mention it).
Rezaul Karim Bablu fought the 2018 election as an independent candidate and won as all BNP candidates’ nominations got cancelled.
From 1991 to 2008, BNP chief Khaleda Zia was elected from Bogura-7.
Bablu is again participating from this constituency as an independent candidate..