The Hindu

Among major parties, the average assets per candidate for 20 BJP candidates analysed is ₹5.33 crore.

The first phase of the Chhattisgarh assembly elections will see 46 'crorepati' candidates in the fray, with the Aam Aadmi Party's Khadgraj Singh leading the tally with assets worth more than ₹40 crore.

As per a report by the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) and Chhattisgarh Election Watch, the average assets per candidate contesting the first phase of the assembly elections are ₹1.34 crore.

Out of the 223 candidates fighting the November 7 first phase polls, 46 are crorepatis, the report said.

Among major parties, the average assets per candidate for 20 BJP candidates analysed is ₹5.33 crore, followed by 20 Congress candidates with average assets worth ₹5.27 crore, 10 AAP candidates with ₹4.45 crore and 15 Janta Congress Chhattisgarh (J) candidates with ₹30.54 lakh, it said.

Twenty out of the total 90 assembly constituencies will go to polls in the first phase on November 7 and the remaining 70 constituencies will vote on November 17.

As per the report, the top three candidates with the highest declared assets are the AAP's Khadgraj Singh, a scion of the erstwhile royal family, with assets worth more than ₹40 crore contesting from Kawardha seat, followed by the BJP's Bhawna Bohra (₹33 crore plus) from Pandariya seat and Congress' Jateen Jaiswal (₹16 crore plus) from Jagdalpur.

Three candidates with the lowest assets are Hem Kumar Satnami (₹8,000) contesting as an independent from the Dongargarh (SC) seat, Bhartiya Shakti Chetna Party's Narhar Deo Gawde (₹10,000) from Antagarh (ST) and Republican Paksha's (Khorpia) Pratima Wasnik (₹10,000) from Rajnandgaon, the report said.

The Azad Janata Party's Parwati Teta from the Kanker (ST) seat and JCC (J) nominee Nagesh Puram from Mohla-Manpur (ST) have declared zero assets, it said.

The Congress' Mohammad Akbar (Kwardha seat) and former chief minister and BJP candidate Raman Singh (Rajnandgaon) and Vikrant Singh (Khairagarh) are the top three candidates who have declared high income in the Income Tax Returns (ITR), it said.

Mr. Akbar has shown a total income of more than ₹1 crore (including himself, spouse and dependent) in the ITR, followed by Vikrant Singh (₹63 lakh plus) and Raman Singh (₹55 lakh), it said.

The report also revealed that out of 223 candidates, 115 (52%) have declared their educational qualifications to be between Classes five and 12, while 97 (43%) candidates have declared as being graduates or above, five are diploma holders and four have declared themselves as just literate.

One candidate has been declared illiterate, while one has not mentioned his educational qualification, it said.

25 (11%) women candidates, including three each from the Congress and BJP, are contesting the first phase of the polls, the report stated.

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