Esha Roy

Since the last Assembly elections, the Manipuri politician has only gotten richer, with those showing some of the highest growth in assets part of Chief Minister Ibobi Singh's cabinet.

In a study conducted jointly by the Association of Democratic Reforms and National Election Watch, affidavits of 258 of the 279 candidates contesting Saturday's polls were checked. Two candidates declared zero assets:

33 candidates (13 per cent) are crorepatis.

The average asset per candidate of the Congress is Rs 1.03 crore, of the NPP it is Rs 1.07 crore, for NPF Rs 72.2 lakh and the NCP Rs 43.3 lakh.

In 2007, the average asset of a candidate was Rs 23.7 lakh. Some candidates have shown an increase in assets between 414% and 563%

T N Haokip of the Congress has seen the maximum rise in assets in rupee terms. The state power minister, his assets have grown by over Rs 9.77 crore.

PWD and Works Minister K Ranjit’s assets have grown 4,351% — from Rs 3 lakh to over a crore; government spokesperson N Biren has seen assets climb 2,679 per cent from Rs 3 lakh in 2007 to Rs 97 lakh in 2012. Chief Minister Ibobi Singh’s own assets have shown a growth of 1,079 per cent — from Rs 6 lakh to Rs 71 lakh.

The “poorest” candidate in the fray is the CPM’s Shantikumar from Imphal West, with assets worth Rs 70,000.

170 candidates (66%) have never filed income tax returns. 3 candidates (1.2%) have declared pending criminal cases. 195 (76%) are graduates or above.

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