Faryal Rumi
PATNA: Unbelievable it may sound in an otherwise poor state like Bihar, but records show that out 153 out of the 1,065 candidates in the fray in the first phase of state assembly election are crorepatis!
The assembly election in Bihar is scheduled in three phases — on October 28, November 3 and November 10.
As per the affidavits submitted to the returning officers, 58% candidates of the Grand Alliance (RJD-Congress and Left) and 60% of the NDA (BJP-JDU-HAM-S and VIP) are crorepatis with total assets ranging from Rs1 crore to Rs53 crore.JD(U) leader and MLC Manorma Devi is the richest with assets valued at around Rs53 crore. Manorma, who is contesting from Atri assembly constituency in Gaya district, has movable assets worth Rs26.18 crore and immovable assets worth Rs27 crore. In her affidavit, she has shown a loan of Rs1.69 crore against her fixed deposit.Rajesh Kumar, the Congress candidate from Kutumba constituency in Aurangabad, is the second richest among them with assets of Rs33.6 crore.JD(U)’s Kaushal Yadav from Nawada is the third richest candidate with movable and immovable properties worth Rs26.13 crore while his opponent Vibha Devi, the wife of incarcerated RJD leader and musclemen Rajballabh Prasad Yadav, has assets amounted to Rs22.47 crore.Among the top ten crorepati candidates, maximum four are from RJD, three of JD(U) and one each of Congress, RLSP and LJP.The assets value of RJD candidate Anant Singh, better known as ‘Chote Sarkar’, has increased from Rs69.5 lakh in 2015 Bihar election to Rs19.9 crore in 2020. Singh is contesting from Mokama. He has represented the constituency in the Vidhan Sabha four times on JD(U) ticket and once as an independent candidate. The value of combined assets of Singh and his wife Neelam Devi has also increased from Rs28 crore in 2015 to Rs68.55 crore.Another RJD candidate, Fateh Bahadur Singh, from Dehri has assets worth Rs12 crore, while Mewalal Choudhary of the same party and contesting from Tarapur has assets worth Rs11 crore.Kaushal Kumar Singh, the RLSP candidate from Banka, is the eighth richest candidate with assets worth Rs10.7 crore. LJP’s Meena Devi, also from Banka, has assets worth Rs10.5 crore. RJD’s Kiran Devi, who is contesting from Sandesh, has assets worth Rs10.2 crore.

Out of the 240 sitting MLAs in the outgoing assembly, 160 are crorepati, says the ADR report compiled on the basis of election affidavits filed by them.

As per the report, JD(U) has 51 crorepati MLAs, out of its 69 assembly members, while RJD has 51 out of 80. BJP’s 33 out of 54 MLAs are also crorepatis while Congress has 17 out of 25. Both the LJP MLAs are also crorepatis, and so is the lone AIMIM MLA.

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