The Week

Ten out of the 37 candidates contesting from the three Lok Sabha seats of Jalpaiguri (SC), Cooch Behar (SC), and Alipurduar (ST) in West Bengal are crorepatis, an analysis of their affidavits said.

Elections to the Jalpaiguri, Cooch Behar and Alipurduar Lok Sabha constituencies will be held in the first phase on April 19.

The West Bengal Election Watch and Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR), which scrutinised the affidavits, on Monday, said three independents, two each from the BJP and Trinamool Congress and one candidate each from the CPI(M), Congress, and the RSP are crorepatis.

CPI(M)'s Debraj Barman, contesting from the Jalpaiguri (SC) Lok Sabha seat, has assets worth Rs 3,89,89,468, the highest among the lot. SUCI's Chandan Oraon, contesting from Alipurduar (ST), is the poorest with assets totalling Rs 12,117.

The study found that five candidates have declared criminal cases against themselves, out of which four have serious offences registered against them, it said.

Analysis of the education details of the candidates revealed that 16 of them have qualifications between class 8 and 12, while 20 are graduates or have higher education degrees. One candidate has declared himself to be illiterate.

In all, 21 candidates have declared their age to be between 25 and 50 years, while 15 nominees are between 51 and 70 years old. One candidate is 71 years old.

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