The Hindu Business line

Chandra Sekhar Pemmasani (TDP), contesting from Guntur in Andhra Pradesh, is the richest candidate in this phase, with total assets valued at ₹5,705 crore

Big money undoubtedly plays a crucial role in winning elections, which is a key reason why political parties often choose wealthy candidates. In the phase 4 Lok Sabha (LS) election, 1,710 candidates are contesting. The wealthiest candidates predominantly hail from the two South Indian states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, according to data from the Association for Democratic Reforms.

In phase 4, there are 43 candidates with assets over ₹50 crore. Of these, 18 are from Telangana and 18 are from Andhra Pradesh. businessline’s analysis of the affidavits of the richest candidates had some interesting takeaways.

Crorepati candidates

Chandra Sekhar Pemmasani (TDP), contesting from Guntur in Andhra Pradesh, is the richest candidate in this phase, with total assets valued at ₹5,705 crore. He is the founder and CEO of UWorld, a preparatory educational hub for cracking exams. According to his affidavit, Pemmasani and his wife, Sriratna Koneru, hold shares in 101 listed companies, both domestic and foreign. Notably, his shares in the JP Morgan Chase Investment alone amount to approximately ₹1,201 crore.

The second wealthiest candidate is Konda Vishweshwar Reddy (BJP). Reddy, a Telangana Rashtra Samithi MP in 2014 from Chevella, had total assets valued at ₹528 crore. During the 2019 LS election, which he contested from Congress’s ticket, his assets grew to ₹895 crore. However, his assets have skyrocketed to ₹4,568 crore in 2024. Reddy and his wife, K Sangita Reddy, possess movable assets worth ₹1,178 crore and ₹3,203 crore, respectively.

His largest holding is shares in Apollo Hospital Enterprises Ltd, amounting to ₹973 crore. Sangita Reddy currently serves as the Joint Managing Director of Apollo Hospitals, a prominent healthcare group founded by her father Prathap C Reddy.

Prabhakar Reddy Vemireddy, the third richest candidate from the TDP, is contesting from the Nellore constituency. Vemireddy holds deposits in 23 bank accounts and possesses 19 personal motor vehicles. His highest shares are invested in NDR Invit Trust, valued at more than ₹315 crore. He re-contested the election in 2018 as a Rajya Sabha MP with assets valued at ₹230 crore. By 2024, his assets had surged to ₹716 crore — representing a growth of around 211 per cent in wealth. Additionally, he owns nine properties across Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka, and Tamil Nadu.

The fourth richest candidate is Amrita Roy from the BJP, who hails from the royal family of Krishnanagar and is colloquially known as the ‘Rajmata of the Rajbari.’ She is pitted against Trinamool Congress MP Mohua Moitra in West Bengal. Roy’s assets are worth ₹554 crore. Her husband, Saumish Chandra Roy, owns approximately 31 acres of land valued at around ₹230 crore and a residential building worth ₹319 crore, all of which are inherited wealth.

CM Ramesh, contesting from the BJP’s ticket in Anakapalle, is the fifth richest candidate with assets worth ₹497 crore. He possesses self-acquired assets worth ₹252 crore. Active in politics since 2012, Ramesh has chaired several parliamentary committees. His assets have doubled since 2018, when he was a sitting MP of the Rajya Sabha, with a total value of ₹258 crore.

Ramesh is also the founder of the Hyderabad-based company Rithwik Projects Pvt Ltd , which purchased electoral bonds worth ₹5 crore weeks after securing the ₹1,098-crore Engineering, Procurement, and Construction contract for the Sunni hydroelectric project in Himachal Pradesh. Additionally, the organisation bought bonds worth ₹40 crore a few days before the Karnataka assembly election.

According to ADR’s data, among the 1,710 candidates, 22 candidates have wealth exceeding ₹100 crore, while 21 candidates possess wealth ranging from ₹50-100 crore. Additionally, approximately 96 candidates have wealth ranging from ₹10-50 crore.

The data indicate that out of 809 independent candidates, 122 candidates have wealth exceeding ₹1 crore. Among the candidates from the BJP, 70 have acquired wealth exceeding ₹1 crore, followed by Congress with 56 wealthy candidates out of 61.

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