Jan Manthan
जन मंथन
New Delhi

The chasm between the richest and poorest candidates in the first phase of the Lok Sabha polls is an eye-watering Rs 716 crore. What makes the disparity even worse is that the gap is basically the declared assets of the richest candidate because the poorest has stated that their net worth is just Rs 320.

The Association for Democratic Reforms has analysed 1,618 of the 1,625 candidates in the running on Friday and 10 of those have declared their assets as zero. The analysis has shown that 450 candidates, or 28% of the total, are crorepatis and have assets worth over Rs 1 crore. 

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The richest candidate is Nakul Nath of the Congress, a sitting MP from Chhindwara in Madhya Pradesh, who has declared assets worth Rs 716 crore. Mr Nath, son of former chief minister Kamal Nath, had won the only seat for his party in the state in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. 

The Congress leader is followed by Ashok Kumar of the AIADMK, who has declared Rs 662 crore. Mr Kumar is contesting from Erode in Tamil Nadu.

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A distant third is Dhevanathan Yadav of the BJP with assets worth Rs 304 crore. Mr Yadav is contesting from Tamil Nadu’s Sivaganga constituency, where Karti Chidambaram of the Congress is the sitting MP. Mr Chidambaram is tenth on the list, with a net worth of Rs 96 crore. 

Mala Rajya Lakshmi Shah of the BJP, who has been fielded from Uttarakhand’s Tehri Garhwal, is fourth, at Rs 206 crore, followed by the BSP’s Majid Ali, who is contesting from Uttar Pradesh’s Saharanpur and has a declared net worth of Rs 159 crore.

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On the other end of the spectrum, apart from the 10 candidates with declared assets of zero, is  Ponraj K, an Independent candidate from Tamil Nadu’s Thoothukudi, who has said he has assets worth Rs 320. 

Marginally richer are Kartik Gendlaji Doke and Suriyamuthu, Independent candidates from Maharashtra’s Ramtek constituency and Tamil Nadu’s Chennai North constituency respectively, who have declared assets of Rs 500.

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