Source: 
DNA
http://www.dnaindia.com/india/report_gujarat-assembly-polls-16pct-rise-in-crorepati-candidates_1775403
Date: 
09.12.2012
City: 
Ahmedabad

In the five years since the 2007 elections, the number of crorepati candidates in the state has increased by 16%. This is evident from a release by Gujarat Election Watch (GEW), the Gujarat chapter of National Election Watch, which states that 37% of the candidates in the second phase of assembly elections are crorepatis.

“This is quite a progress when we consider the fact that in 2007 there were just 21% crorepati candidates,” said Jagdeep Chhokar, founder member of National Election Watch, an umbrella body of over 1200 civil society organisations working for political and electoral reforms.

However, not all our prospective netas are uber-rich. The GEW also found that 19 of the 401 candidates analysed had declared assets worth less than Rs1 lakh. It should be noted that these figures are based on an analysis of the affidavits of 401 out of the 820 candidates in the fray for the second phase of Gujarat elections.

The richest candidate in the second phase is Balvantsinh Chadansinh Rajput of the Congress who has declared assets worth Rs268 crore.

He is followed by Siddharth Patel, another Congress candidate from Dabhoi, who has assets worth Rs71 crore. Rajput also happens to have the highest income of Rs2.40 crore as per his last income tax return.

“We should take these facts into consideration before voting. Look at the per capita income of the common man and that of our politicians,” said Chhokar.

At the other end of the spectrum are candidates whose assets are almost negligible when compared to their crorepati brethren. Balwantbhai Gopalbahia Solanki of Samajwadi Party, who is contesting from Kalol, tops this list. He has declared that he has no assets. The second spot is taken by Ashwin Muli, the GPP candidate from Danta (ST) constituency, who has only Rs500 worth of assets. Narshibhai Vankar of the BSP, who is contesting from Sojitara constituency, has only Rs3745 worth of assets.

The Congress can ‘technically’ be declared the richest party with an average asset per candidate of Rs7.95 crore followed by the BJP which has Rs6.40 crore.

Interestingly, BSP tops the list in terms of candidates who have never filed income tax returns. In fact, 62 of the 73 candidates of BSP have never filed their I-T returns. JD (U) is next with 21 of its 30 candidates never having filed returns. 20% of BJP candidates and 22% of Congress candidates too have never filed their I-T returns.

Other interesting revelations

  • Pravinsinh Chauhan of the BJP who is contesting from Godhra, has reported a 13% reduction in assets from Rs83.54lakh in 2007 to Rs72.79 lakh in 2012-12-07
  • Saurabh Patel, who is contesting form Akota on a BJP ticket, has also registered a 13% decline in assets from Rs65.29 crore in 2007 to Rs56.60 crore in 2012.
  • Jagruti Pandya figures among the list of three crorepati candidates who have not declared their PAN details

Crorepati candidates with no I-T returns
NamePartyConstituencyAssets
Dilipkumar ThakorBJPChanasamaRs4.73 cr
Kantibhai 
SodhaparmarCongressAnandRs4.41 cr
Mangalbhi GohiGPPVaghodiaRs3.73 cr

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