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Amid the grand campaigns and political speeches, the wealth of candidates contesting often goes unnoticed. Outlook takes a look at the candidates with the

As India votes in the 18th Lok Sabha election, the wealth of parties and candidates has stirred a number of debates. With the electoral bonds data out, it was clear which parties were getting the highest funding in the last five years. But amid the grand campaigns and political speeches, the wealth of candidates contesting often goes unnoticed.

A recent report by poll rights watchdog Association of Democratic Reforms (ADR) revealed that out of the 514 sitting Lok Sabha MPs, 25 have declared assets worth more than ₹100 crores. Among these 25 billionaires, BJP has the highest number of rich MPs, nine of them having declared assets of over Rs 100 crore.

In light of this, Outlook takes a look at the candidates with the highest assets this election:

Chandrasekhar Pemmasani, TDP

An NRI doctor, Chandrasekhar Pemmasani of the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) is the wealthiest Lok Sabha candidate in the country this year. Pemmasani, who is contesting from Guntur seat in Andhra Pradesh has declared assets worth a staggering total of Rs 5785 crore. Apart from his primary profession, he has also had success in various business ventures. His income for the year 2022-23 amounted to Rs 3,68,840, while his wife Koneru Sriratna, earned Rs 1,47,680 in the same period. Dr Chandrasekhar possesses moveable assets worth Rs 2,316 crore, including fixed deposits, term deposits, and other investments, and immovable assets worth Rs 720 crore. His wife holds movable assets valued at Rs 2,289 crore and immovable assets at Rs 348 crore.

Pallavi Shrinivas Dempo, BJP  

The Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) South Goa candidate Pallavi Shrinivas Dempo is the second richest candidate in the Lok Sabha polls this year with declared assets worth more than Rs 1,361 crore. While Dempo declared assets worth Rs 255.44 crore, her spouse Shrinivas Dempo declared assets of Rs 998.83 crore. This includes around Rs 1,250 crore in movable assets and Rs 111 crore in immovable assets, according to the data by ADR. The couple has interests in mining, shipbuilding, sports, luxury homes in Dubai and London, luxury cars, and jewellery among other investments.

Nakul Nath, Congress

Nakul Nath is one of Congress’ richest candidates contesting this year with declared assets worth Rs 716 crore, according to his election affidavit. He is the sitting MP from Chhindwara constituency in Madhya Pradesh that went to polls in the first phase. He is the son of former chief minister and influential Congress leader Kamal Nath, who has represented the seat for over two decades. Nakul Nath’s 2019 win was not only his maiden Lok Sabha victory but also the only seat Congress won in the state swayed by the saffron wave.

Venkataramane Gowda, Congress

Congress’ Mandya candidate Venkataramane Gowda, popularly known as 'Star Chandru', was the richest candidate in Phase 2 of this election with declared assets over Rs 622 crore, as per the election affidavit. His wife Kusuma also has movable and immovable properties worth Rs 329.32 crore. A contractor by profession, Gowda has an annual income of Rs 16.28 crore and is contesting against HD Kumaraswamy of the NDA.

Ashok Kumar, AIADMK 

With declared assets worth Rs 583 crore, Ashok Kumar of the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) is one of the richest candidates contesting this election from Tamil Nadu's Erode constituency. Kumar’s source of income is from businesses and his salary, while his wife Karunambika, an architect, receives rental income and a salary. Karunambika is also the daughter of BJP MLA Dr C Saraswathi from Modakkurichi in Erode district and possesses assets worth Rs 69.98 crore.

Jyotiraditya Scindia, BJP 

With assets worth over Rs 424 crores, the royal scion of Gwalior and BJP candidate from Madhya Pradesh's Guna, Jyotiraditya Scindia is one of the richest candidates in phase 3 of Lok Sabha elections. A former Congress leader, he switched to the saffron party four years ago after losing from his family bastion on Congress ticket. He has movable assets worth Rs 62.5 crore and immovable assets worth Rs 362 crore.

Hema Malini, BJP 

Actress-turned-politician Hema Malini, popularly known as ‘Dream Girl’, is among the richest candidates of the BJP, contesting from Mathura constituency with declared assets worth Rs 249 crore, as per the poll affidavit. Over the last few years, her wealth is said to have increased by Rs 72 crore. In 2014, her net worth was revealed to be Rs 178 crore including Dharmendra’s share too. The couple has interests in luxury cars – Hema owns an Audi Q5, a Mercedes Benz M-Class and a Hyundai Santa Fe among others – as well as jewellery and property.

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