The New Indian Express

Out of the total of 253 candidates in fray for the Lok Sabha elections in Punjab, 56 candidates are crorepatis.

Punjab Election Watch and Association for Democratic Reforms have analysed the sworn affidavits filed by all 253 candidates contesting the Lok Sabha polls and  all the ten candidates of the ruling SAD and three of its alliance partner the BJP are crorepatis. All Congress candidates barring one have assets in crores, while six candidates of the BSP are crorepatis.

Average assets of SAD contestants are Rs 34.05 crore followed by those of the Congress at Rs 32.70 crore, AAP’s at Rs 4.11 crore and BSP’s at Rs 1.46 crore respectively.  The average assets of these candidates has also seen a jump from Rs 1.66 crore during 2009 Lok Sabha elections to Rs 4.48 crore in 2014.

Some 16 candidates have assets of more than Rs 15 crore with real estate tycoon and Akali dal candidate from Fatehgarh Sahib constituency Kulwant Singh the richest of them all. Singh has assets valued at Rs 139.61 crore  followed by Ambika Soni of the Congress and Arun Jaitley of the BJP with assets of Rs 118 crore and Rs 113 crore respectively. Sitting MP and Akali Dal candidate from Bathinda Harsimrat Kaur Badal has assets worth Rs 108 crore.

Former Bollywood actor Vinod Khanna who is contesting from Gurdaspur on BJP ticket has declared assets of Rs 66.93 crore. Other names in the list include Captain Amarinder Singh, his wife Preneet Kaur, Manpreet Singh Badal, Sunil Jakhar, Pratap Singh Bajwa and Simranjit Singh Mann.

The Congress candidate from Fategar Sahib Sadhu Singh Dharamsot is the lone Congress candidate who has declared assets of less than Rs one crore. He has shown the value of his assets to be Rs 73.35 lakh. Politicians in the rich list have also high liabilities and many have neither declared PAN nor income tax details. The average asset growth of eight MPs who are re-contesting is Rs 16.63 crore with Vijay Inder Singla of the Congress registering the highest growth of 324 per cent from Rs 3 crore in 2009 to Rs 14 crore in 2014. While 32 candidates have declared assets of less than Rs 1 lakh.

As many as 23 candidates (9 per cent) have declared criminal cases against themselves this time, while in 2009, 18 candidates (8 per cent) out of 215 had criminal cases. There is an increase in those with serious criminal charges against them including attempt to murder.

© Association for Democratic Reforms
Privacy And Terms Of Use
Donation Payment Method