The Times of India
Ayaskant Das

Ten of the 18 candidates from the three assembly segments of Noida, Dadri and Jewar are crorepatis. This revelation comes a week before the assembly polls scheduled on February 28.

The Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) - an NGO spearheading the movement for electoral reforms - analysed 360 affidavits furnished by candidates contesting in the sixth phase of polls and found that 210 candidates are crorepatis.

Mahesh Sharma (BJP), with assets worth Rs 37.45 crore, and V S Chauhan (Congress), with Rs 22.13 crore, share the third and fifth spots in the list of top 20 richest candidates in the state. Incidentally, the top three richest candidates in Gautam Budh Nagar district are all from the newly-carved constituency of Noida. Sunil Choudhury of the SP, with assets worth Rs 11.24 crore, who stands at the third position in the district, is also from Noida. Choudhury stands at the 26th overall position among the 210 candidates.

Sharma and Chauhan share the third and eighth spots, respectively, when it comes to candidates having the highest financial liabilities among all 360 candidates analysed. While Sharma has declared financial liabilities worth Rs 5.77 crore, Chauhan has liabilities worth Rs 3.59 crore. In terms of annual income, Sharma stands again stands at the third position. He has declared Rs1.38 crore as his annual income.

The BSP candidate from Dadri, Satveer Singh Gujjar, has recorded the highest percentage increase in assets among all candidates. The average percentage growth in assets for re-contesting MLAs, among 49 such candidates analysed, is 168 per cent. However, Satveer Gujjar has recorded a staggering 3,776 per cent increase in assets in the last five years from 2007 to 2012. Gujjar's assets rose from a mere Rs 2.51 lakh in 2007 to Rs 97.48 lakh in 2012.

While the district boasts of some of the richest candidates, it has also earned another distinction. Khalil Ahmed (Peace Party) from the Dadri Assembly constituency, with total assets of Rs 11,000, stands third in the list of candidates having assets less than or equal to Rs 11,000.

That's not all. The candidate with the highest number of recorded criminal cases is also from Gautam Budh Nagar. Manveer Singh Tewatia, the prime accused in the Bhatta-Parsaul violence - fielded from Jewar by the JD (U) - ranks number 1 among 128 candidates who have declared criminal cases against them.

Tewatia has declared 31 criminal cases, including 14 charges related to murder, several cases related to attempt to murder and kidnapping. 

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