Daily Pioneer
Rajesh Kumar
New Delhi

With `716 crore assets value, Congress candidate Nakul Nath, son of Congress leader Kamal Nath who is contesting from Chhindwara, Madhya Pradesh is the richest person, followed by Ashok Kumar of AIADMK who is contesting from Erode and declared total assets of `662 crore.

BJP's Dhevanathan Yadav T contesting from Shivaganga is third in the list of richest candidates who has declared `302 crore and Jayaprakash from AIADMK with `131 crore. 

One in 10 candidates in the first phase of the Lok Sabha elections has serious criminal cases registered against them while one in every three candidates is a crorepati.

As per his affidavit, Nakul Nath's wealth has gone up by `40 crore in the past five years. In his latest submission to the Election Commission, Nakul has declared movable property, including cash, shares and bonds, worth `649.51 crore and `48.07 crore of immovable property. In 2019, Nakul was the only Congress Lok Sabha MP to win from Madhya Pradesh, otherwise swept by the BJP.

In 2019, Nakul was among the top ten richest candidates contesting elections. After his victory, he emerged as the richest serving member of Lok Sabha (2019-2024) with assets worth `660 crore. Nakul and wife Priya Nath own immovable and movable assets worth `716 crore together, as per the election affidavit. In 2019, this was `660 crore.

AIADMK's Ashok declared his movable assets to be worth `662 crore while movable assets of his spouse, Karunambika, were declared to be worth `47.38 crore.

He also declared his immovable assets as worth `56.95 crore and those of his spouse's as worth `22.60 crore. His cash in hand stood at `10 lakh while his wife's cash in hand was declared as `5 lakh. He also declared `12 lakh as a liability, as he had obtained a house loan from a private bank.

There are 1,625 candidates, contesting the 102 seats of  the first phase of Lok Sabha polls. As per data compiled by the Association of Democratic Reforms, BJP candidate S Jagathratchakan of DMK has shown assets worth `53 crore and liabilities over `649 crore.

Jagathratchakan is contesting from Arakkonam.

Dhevanathan Yadav T has shown liabilities of over `98 crore. Congress candidates from Chandrapur, Maharashtra Dhanorkar Pratibha Suresh Alias Balubhau have declared assets of `80 crore and liabilities of over `55 crore.  While 10 candidates have declared zero assets, independent candidates Ponraj K (Thoothukkudi), Kartik Gendlalji Doke (Ramtek) and Suriyamuthu (Chennai North) have declared the least assets. 

The ADR found around 28 per cent of candidates in the polls' first phase are "crorepatis" with assets exceeding ` one crore.

The average assets per candidate stands at `4.51 crore, with notable discrepancies observed across party lines, it said.

There are 450 crorepati candidates in the first phase with BJP having 69 such candidates followed by Congress with 49, AIADMK with 35, DMK with 21, BSP with 18, and Trinamool and RJD with 4 each. AIADMK candidates have the highest average assets at `35.61 crore followed by DMK which has Rs 31.22 crore, Congress which has Rs 27.79 crore, and BJP which has Rs 22.37 crore.

Analysing 1,618 out of the 1,625 candidates in the first phase of Lok Sabha polls on April 19, it said 161 candidates have serious criminal charges against them, which included seven with murder charges and 19 with attempted murder cases.

Eight candidates have crimes against women, including one with rape charges against him. When it comes to party-wise candidates, 14 out of 77 BJP candidates have serious criminal charges while Congress has eight of 56 candidates in this category. Trinamool Congress has one such candidate while RJD and SP have two each, and DMK and AIADMK six each. BSP also has eight candidates.

The ADR report says 42 (41 per cent) out of 102 constituencies are red alert constituencies in the Lok Sabha elections 2024 phase I. Red alert constituencies are those constituencies where 3 or more contesting candidates have declared criminal cases against themselves.

The report said 505 (31 per cent) candidates have declared their age to be between 25 to 40 years while 849 (52 per cent) candidates have declared their age to be between 41 to 60 years.  There are 260 (16 per cent) candidates who have declared their age to be between 61 to 80 years.  There are only four candidates who have declared their age to be above 80 years.

Lok Sabha polls will be held in seven phases beginning from April 19 and the counting of votes will take place on June 4.

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