The Times of India

GUWAHATI: Six crorepatis are in the fray for the April 12 Lok Sabha polls in Assam's Barak Valley and hill districts.

According to a recent report by the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) and Assam Election Watch, of the 37 candidates contesting from the three seats of Silchar, Karimganj and Autonomous District, at least six have assets worth crores.

The poll watchdogs have analyzed the affidavits of all 37 candidates approved by the Election Commission. "All three candidates from Congress are crorepatis. Asom Gana Parishad (AGP), which has fielded candidates in two seats, has also chosen crorepatis. BJP has fielded only one crorepati in one of the three seats," the report said.

The richest among them is Congress's Sushmita Dev, daughter of veteran Congress leader Santosh Mohan Dev. She is the sitting MLA from Silchar, with total assets worth Rs 8,74,95,844 crore as per her affidavit to the EC.

"Congress candidate Biren Singh Engti, who is fighting from Autonomous District, has total assets worth Rs 3,53,67,390. Engti's main rival, BJP's Joy Ram Engleng, stands as the third richest candidate with Rs 2,20,32,158," the ADR report added.

The other three crorepatis are AGP's Rabindra Nath Choudhury (Karimganj) with Rs 1.50 crore, Congress's Lalit Mohan Suklabaidya (Karimganj) with Rs 1.13 crore and AGP's Bijoy Krishna Nath (Silchar) with total assets worth Rs 1.10 crore.

Some of the candidates also have criminal records. "Three candidates have declared criminal records. Lalit Mohan Suklabaidya of Congress, Jayanta Mallick, an Independent candidate from Silchar, and Sushmita Dev have declared criminal records. Among them, Suklabaidya has serious IPC charges," the report said.

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