‘Mirror, mirror on the wall! Who is the richest of them all?’ In Snow White’s world, the mirror would have been able to answer the question for the 64 candidates who are contesting the Rajya Sabha Elections 2018 but there is no such thing in the real world. And yet we have the answer thanks to the Association of Democratic Reforms (ADR).
According to the election watchdog, 55 of the 63 candidates analysed are crorepatis. This comes to 87 per cent.
So who is the richest? Mahendra Prasad of Janata Dal (United). He has assets worth Rs 4,078 crore and is one of the two candidates with declared assets of over Rs 1 crore vying for a seat in the upper house from the party.
Next is actor-turned politician and Samajwadi Party leader Jaya Bachchan with over Rs 1,001 crore in total assets. She is the only SP leader in the fray with more than Rs 1 crore in assets.
Third on the list is BM Farooq who has over Rs 766 crore. He is Janata Dal (Secular) nominee from Karnataka.
Abhishek Manu Singhvi of Congress is one of the three candidates from the party with over Rs 1 crore in assets. He has, according to ADR, assets worth more than Rs 649 crore.
Fifth on the list is CM Ramesh of Telugu Desam Party (TDP) with over Rs 258 crore in assets.
Jaya Bachchan, who is contesting from Uttar Pradesh, has a declared liability of over Rs 105.64 crore. She has declared Rs 13 lakh as her self-income, but her total income amounted to over Rs 78 crore if the income of spouse and dependent were included.
Singhvi has over Rs 98 crore liability and declared self-income of over Rs 130 crore. Farooq has over Rs 97 crore in liabilities and self-income of over Rs 10 crore.
Vemireddy Prabhakar Reddy, who is contesting from Andhra Pradesh, with total declared assets of over Rs 230 crore, has liabilities of over Rs 96 crore, the ADR said.
The average assets of 63 candidates analysed was Rs 122.13 crore, the release said, adding 55 candidates or 87 percent were ‘crorepatis’.
The election watchdog has analysed the self-sworn affidavits of 63 out of 64 candidates contesting for the Rajya Sabha Elections 2018 to be held on 23 March for 58 seats in 16 states.
One candidate — Dhiraj Kumar Sahu (INC) — contesting from Jharkhand has not been analysed as his affidavit was badly scanned.
Among the party-wise crorepati candidates, 26 out of 29 candidates from the BJP, 10 out of 11 candidates from Congress, 3 out of 4 candidates from AITC, 3 candidates from TRS, two candidates from JD(U) and a candidate from Samajwadi Party have declared assets worth more than Rs 1 crore, a statement by ADR said.
The candidate with the lowest declared total assets is Achyutananda Samananta of BJD who has assets worth Rs 4.96 lakh. Other candidates with low assets are Samir Oraon, V Muraleedharan , Sakaldeep of BJP – over Rs 18 lakh, Rs 27 lakh and Rs 35 lakh, respectively – and Rajmani Patel of Congress who has over Rs 34 lakh, said the statement.
As many as 13 candidates have declared total annual income of more than Rs 1 crore in their ITR 2016-17 with Mahendra Prasad showing the self-income of over Rs 303 crore. Rajeev Chandrasekhar of the BJP, who is contesting from Karnataka, had a self-income of over Rs 28 crore.
Five women candidates are contesting the election to the Upper House, the release added.
(With inputs from agencies.)