Every second candidate contesting the state assembly elections is a crorepati, despite the mining ban bringing the state's economic activity to a near halt. Surprisingly, the latest entrant into Goa's electoral politics, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) fielded the candidate with the highest assetsRanjit Cotta Carvalho, a real estate developer, who declared his assets worth Rs 65.78 crores, as per data released by the Association of Democratic Reforms (ADR).

Carvalho, 48, has assets worth half the Rs 211 crores declared by MGP candidate Dinar Tarcar in 2012, which was the highest asset disclosal then. Burgeoning assets have never guaranteed success in the hustings and Carvalho would hope that he does not follow Tarcar's footsteps, who lost the elections from St Cruz in 2012.

The ADR did raise concerns over the veracity of the asset valuation declared by several candidates saying that there was vast scope for the Election Commission of India (ECI) to improve data collection and verification.

"If you notice, 90% of the assets are immovable and it is difficult to digest that the value of the assets have gone down. Land in many cases has been valued at cost price or undervalued," said national coordinator for ADR Anil Verma.

Out of the 251 candidates in the fray, 62% or 156 candidates contesting the elections have declared assets worth over a crore proving that the economic downturn has not stopped candidates from accumulating wealth in the five years since 2012.

The value of the assets is calculated based on the movable and immovable assets of the candidates and their family members. This includes the value of property, vehicles, jewellery and cash declared by the candidates in their sworn affidavit before the returning officer.

Releasing the data on Tuesday, ADR's Bhasker Assoldekar said that 30 candidates had assets worth Rs 10 crores or more. Most of the candidates, that is 35% of all those contesting, had declared that they have assets worth anywhere between Rs 1 crore to Rs 5 crore.

The data showed that the Bharatiya Janata Party had the highest number of crorepatis at 35 candidates with Goa Pradesh Congress Committee following closely behind at 34 crorepati candidates.

Out of the AAP's 39 candidates, 19 had assets worth over a crore. The Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party has 13 candidates in the crorepati category.

The average assets per candidate contesting in the 2017 Goa assembly elections stood at Rs 4.75 crores, marginally down from the Rs 5 crores in 2012.

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