Financial Express
Mithilesh Jha

These poll candidates’ liabilities, especially those of the top three, force us to think about the risks of over-leveraging.

Lok Sabha Elections 2024: Before every election, be it Lok Sabha or Vidhan Sabha, candidates from various political parties are required to file self-sworn affidavits declaring all necessary details such as their educational qualification, any criminal cases against them, financial assets and liabilities, and more. The Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) analyses and compiles data on various factors based on electoral affidavits.

With two phases of the Lok Sabha polls 2024 completed, attention has now turned to the third phase of the election, where 1,352 candidates are vying for victory across 94 constituencies in 12 states.

In addition to their educational qualifications and criminal records, the ADR report has brought to light the overall liabilities or debt of these candidates.

Candidates with high liabilities in Phase 4 of Lok Sabha polls:

According to the ADR report, Ramesh Garg of the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) from Morena, Madhya Pradesh, has declared liabilities of Rs 351 crore against total assets of just Rs 16 crore in his affidavit.

Sanjay (Kaka) Patil of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) from Sangli, Maharashtra, has declared liabilities of Rs 53 crore against total assets worth Rs 75 crore. The BJP’s Poonamben Hematbhai Maadam, who is contesting from Jamnagar, Gujarat, has declared liabilities of Rs 53 crore and total assets of Rs 147 crore.

The other two candidates with the highest liabilities are also from the BJP. Ranjeetsingh Hindurao Naik Nimbalkar, the party’s candidate from Madha, Maharashtra, has declared liabilities of Rs 47 crore and assets of Rs 205 crore. Narayan Tatu Rane, the BJP’s candidate from Ratnagiri-Sandhudurg, Maharashtra, has mentioned his liabilities of Rs 29 crore and assets of Rs 108 crore.

Are these candidates over-leveraged?

Among these candidates, BSP’s Ramesh Garg is certainly over-leveraged because his liabilities are nearly 22 times his declared assets. The other four candidates also have high liabilities. Sanjay Patil owes much more than what he owns. Poonamben Hematbhai Maadam’s situation is not good either. Ranjeetsingh Hindurao Naik Nimbalkar and Narayan Tatu Rane seem to have a balanced financial situation. These candidates’ liabilities, especially those of the top three, force us to think about the risks of over-leveraging.

How do we avoid the risks associated with over-leveraging?

  1. You should make it a regular habit to track all your loans, including interest rates and repayment schedules. Always make sure that you stay on top of your financial obligations.
  2. You need to have a clear and realistic repayment plan, ensuring that you stick to it diligently in a bid to lower your debt burden.
  3. You must adhere to your monthly budget and prioritize key expenses. It is also important to cut down on non-essential expenses so that you can free up funds for debt repayment.
  4. If you can build an emergency fund, there’s nothing better than that. By setting aside a portion of your income, you can create a financial safety net for you.
  5. Earning extra income always helps in avoiding over-leveraging risks, so always look for some opportunities to earn. You can also invest in some instruments so that they can generate some passive earnings for you. You can also do a part-time or freelance job, which will help in the fast settlement of your debt repayment.
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