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With a declared net worth of Rs 202 crore, Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) President Sukhbir Singh Badal is the richest candidate in the assembly elections in Punjab, the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) and Punjab Election Watch said on Wednesday.

However, Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi is among the 21 MLAs whose assets have decreased over the past polls.

An analysis of election affidavits of 101 legislators in the fray for the elections has found that on an average, the assets of the re-contesting MLAs have increased by 21 per cent since the last assembly polls in 2017.

Out of the 101 re-contesting MLAs, assets of 78 MLAs (77 per cent) have increased ranging from two to 2,954 per cent and assets of 21 MLAs (21 per cent) have decreased ranging from minus two to minus 74 per cent.

According to the ADR and Punjab Election Watch, the average assets in 2017 of these 101 re-contesting MLAs fielded by various parties, including independents, was Rs 13.34 crore.

This time, the average asset of the re-contesting legislators is Rs 16.10 crore with the average asset growth between 2017 and 2022 of Rs 276 crore.

Sukhbir Singh Badal, who is in the fray from Jalalabad, has declared the maximum increase in assets of Rs 100 crore i.e. from Rs 102 crore in 2017 to Rs 202 crore in 2022.

The assets of his estranged cousin and Congress leader Manpreet Singh Badal, who is contesting from Bathinda Urban have increased by Rs 32 crore, from Rs 40 crore in 2017 to Rs 72 crore in 2022.

The assets of AAP’s Aman Arora, who is contesting from Sunam, have risen by Rs 29 crore, from Rs 65 crore in 2017 to Rs 95 crore in 2022.

Assets of two-time Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh, who belongs to the erstwhile royal family of Patiala and owns no personal vehicle, rose to Rs 68 crore this time from Rs 48 crore in 2017.

In the 2017 elections, the Congress formed the government by winning 77 seats. On the other hand, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) emerged as the main opposition party for the first time by winning 20 seats. While the SAD got 15 seats, the BJP secured three seats. Two seats were won by others.

The 117-member Punjab Assembly will go to the polls on February 20 and counting of votes will be held on March 10.

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