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08.02.2017
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It seems there was no effect of demonetisation on most of the politicians contesting the first phase of the Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh as a majority of them are crorepatis. Ironically, all competing parties have promised to work for the welfare of the poor in the state. Their claims sound good to the ears, but then there are reasons people should be wary of the leaders they want to vote for.

The first phase of the seven-phase Assembly elections will take place on February 11. And the number of crorepatis in the elections is simply shocking. Consider these: 90% of candidates fielded by BSP in the first phase are crorepatis. BJP is one the second position with 84% crorepatis. It is followed by Samajwadi Party with 78% crorepatis, while the Congress has 75% crorepatis and the Rashtriya Lok Dal 72% crorepatis fighting the elections, according to an Uttar Pradesh Election Watch report of Association for Democratic Reforms.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s demonetisation decision announced on November 8 last year, was expected to take a toll on the rich with illegal money. However, the kind of campaigns being run by all political parties shows that demonetisation was a decision only meant to hit the poor in the short run. India is a land of ironies and this one is something that would probably never go.

The richest candidate in the fray is also from the Congress —Nazir Ahmad, who will fight from Agra South. Ahmad owns total assets of over Rs 200 crores (Rs 2,11,47,10,975 in total), with movable assets worth Rs 1,94,21,70,975 (Rs 194 crores approx) and immovable assets of Rs 17,25,40,000 (Rs 17 crores approx). Ahmad, who is a shoe businessman by profession, had lost 2012 assembly elections from the same seat to BJP’s Yogendra Upadhyay.

Following Ahmad is BJP’s Satish Kumar Sharma, who is contesting from Mathura Mant and owns total assets worth around Rs 114 crore with Rs 16,77,76,333 (Rs 16 crore approx) as movable assets, and Rs 97,52,05,508 (Rs 97 crore approx) as immovable assets. Third-richest candidate in the fray is again from BJP, Rani Pakshalika Singh, who is contesting from AGRA BAAH. She owns assets of over Rs 58 crore.

The data suggests that chances of getting tickets of a popular party increases if the claimant is a crorepati. This, however, doesn’t let sincere people think of politics as a career option.

As far as average assets of candidates in the polls are concerned, Congress tops the list with an average asset of its candidates at Rs 13 crore. Average assets of BJP leaders is around 7 crore, for BSP it is Rs 6 crore, RLD 5 crore and Samajwadi Party Rs 5 crore.

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