The Indian Express

As many as 85 of the 188 candidates in fray for the February 23 Assembly elections in Nagaland have property valued at crores of rupees, according to an NGO.

Of the 81 crorepati candidates, 40 are from the ruling Naga People's Front (NPF), 24 from opposition Congress and 17 independents, according to Nagaland Election 2013 Watch.

The analysis was made on the basis of the assets filed by the candidates in their nomination papers, Association for Democratic Reforms national coordinator Anil Bairwal and YouthNet director Hekhani Jakhalu, who made the survey said today.

K L Chishi, former chief minister and Congress candidate from Dimapur-I, is the richest with movable and immovable assets totalling Rs 50.19 crore. He is followed by Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio, who is NPF candidate from Northern Angami-II seat, with assets totalling Rs 30.07 crore.

Third in the list is Congress candidate I Imkong from

Jangpetkong constituency with assets of Rs 18.23 crore. In the 2008 elections, ofthe 218 candidates in the fray, there were only 58 crorepati candidates.The top three candidates with highest growth in assets during the last five years (2008-2013) is led by Rio with a declared increase of Rs 23.83 crore, i.e, Rs 6.23 crore in 2008 to Rs 30.07 crore in 2013.

Bairwal said in 2008, Rio had not provided information related to the value of deposits in five bank accounts and three insurance policies.

Opposition leader contesting from Dimapur-II A/C has increased his assets from Rs 2.25 crore in 2008 to Rs 13.74 crore in 2013. In 2008, Tokheho had not provided information related to the value of four insurance policies and two motor vehicles.

Another Congress candidate from Phomching seat, K Konngam Konyak, is among the top three crorepatis with an asset of Rs 10.62 crore (Rs. 31.50 lakh in 2008 to Rs 10.94 crore now).

Amongst the highest percentage growth of assets in the last five years is JD(U) candidate from Longleng constituency, B S Nganlang, whose assets worth Rs 10,000 in 2008 increased to Rs 20.20 lakh now.

Three candidates have declared criminal records in their affidavits. They are ruling NPF's Toshipokba from Aolengden seat and Neiba Kronu of Pfutsero, and Independent candidate P Cheong from Mon Town constituency.

Of the total candidates, 136 (73%) are graduates or have a higher degree, while 14 (8%) are standard eighth pass or below. Two candidates are illiterate, nine PhD degree holders, 23 under matriculation. Eight candidates are over 70 years of age.

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