Source: 
India Today
https://www.indiatoday.in/diu/story/phase-3-elections-richest-candidates-criminal-cases-bjp-congress-sp-2535839-2024-05-06
Author: 
Ankita Tiwari and Subham Singh
Date: 
06.05.2024
City: 

In Phase-3, the BJP has fielded 82 candidates. Out of them, 16 have assets above Rs 50 crore. Of the Congress party’s 67 candidates, nine are worth more than Rs 50 crore.

In Short

  • 29% of Lok Sabha election candidates in phase 3 polling are crorepatis
  • 37.5% of candidates have criminal records
  • Only 9.1% of candidates are women

As the adage goes, "Money is power"; and in the third phase of the Lok Sabha election, with 94 seats across 12 states and Union Territories going to polls on May 7, at least 29 per cent of the 1,352 hopefuls are crorepatis.

According to the Association for Democratic Reforms, on average, candidates in this phase have assets worth Rs 5.66 crore. The Bharatiya Janata Party has the richest candidates, averaging assets worth Rs 44.08 crore.

The average Phase-3 Samajwadi Party candidate has assets worth Rs 42.93 crore. The Congress party is a distant third at Rs 20.6 crore. Pallavi Shrinivas Dempo, a BJP candidate from South Goa, is the richest candidate with a total asset of more than Rs 1,361 crore.

There has been an increase in wealthier candidates. Candidates with a net worth of Rs 5 crore and more went up from 10 per cent in these seats in 2019 to 12 per cent this time. At the same time, those with less than Rs 10 lakh in assets dropped from 37 per cent in 2019 to 31.5 per cent in 2024.

In Phase-3, the BJP has fielded 82 candidates. Out of them, 16 have assets above Rs 50 crore. Fifty-two per cent of the party’s candidates have assets worth between Rs 1 crore and Rs 10 crore. Only six per cent have assets worth less than Rs 1 crore.

Of the Congress party’s 67 candidates, nine are worth more than Rs 50 crore. Twelve per cent have assets worth less than Rs 1 crore. On the other hand, 2 out of the Samajwadi Party’s 10 candidates are worth more than Rs 50 crore.

Of the 79 Bahujan Samaj Party hopefuls in the third phase, 63 per cent have wealth less than Rs 1 crore. The party’s Rekhaban Harsinghbhai Chaudhari, a candidate from Bardoli, Gujarat, declared assets worth Rs 2,000 only — the lowest of the lot.

CRIMINAL BACKGROUND

Of the 1,352 contesting candidates, 507 or 37.5 per cent have criminal records. According to ADR, 244 of these candidates have serious criminal cases against them. In 2019, 1,594 contested these seats, of whom 682 or 42.8 per cent had criminal records.

Congress fielded the maximum number of candidates with criminal records, 26, followed by the BJP at 22. Of them, 14 in both parties had serious criminal cases against them. On the other hand, only nine per cent of the BSP’s candidates had criminal cases — eight per cent had serious criminal charges against them.

GENDER GAP

Among the Phase-3 candidates, 1,229 are men and 123 are women, making women candidates only 9.1 per cent. In Phase-3, the Trinamool Congress and the Shiv Sena (Uddhav Thackeray) fielded no female candidates.

The Samajwadi Party fielded only one female candidate in the ten seats it is contesting. The BJP, on the other hand, fielded 13 female candidates, which is 16 per cent of its 82 hopefuls; and the fielded 14, 20.5 per cent of its candidates.

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