Agartala (Hindusthan  Samachar):  Altogether six among twenty five candidates in Tripura’s two loksabha seats including CPI (M) candidate for East Tripura (ST) are ‘Krorepatis’ as per their affidavits filed along with their nomination papers. Aam Admi Party (AAP) nominee Dr Salil Saha is top in the crorepati list, according to a finding released by Tripura Election Watch.

Dr Saha, who is contesting in the West Tripura Lok Sabha constituency, has amassed Rs 4 crore plus while Arunoday Saha, who is contesting from the same constituency on Congress ticket, has declared assets worth Rs 3.38 crore.

Sachitra Debbarma, a Congress nominee for the East Tripura Lok Sabha constituency, has declared assets of Rs 2.85 crore bringing him in the top-three-richest list in the State, according to TEW and Association of Democratic Reforms (ADR).

The CPI (M) candidate for East Tripura (ST) seat and former minister Jiten Chowdhury has assets valued at Rs 1.13 krores. Son of an indigenous landlord father in south Tripura’s Sabroom subdivision, late Matahari Chowdhury who was also a CPI (M) MLA between 1978 and 1983, Jiten Chowdhury has inherited huge land properties in his home at Kalacherra village under Sabroom subdivision. He also has built a house in Krishna Nagar area in the heart of Agartala town drawing a bank loan of Rs 30 lakhs.

But among the six ‘Krorepatis’ Jiten Chowdhury is the poorest. The pack of ‘Krorepatis’ is led by the eminent spine surgeon and Aam Admi Party (AAP) candidate in West Tripura loksabha seat, Dr Salil Saha who has net assets worth Rs 4.11 krores . Saha runs a private nursing home in Chandigarh, performs surgeries in many cities and teaches in Chandigarh post-graduate medical institute and Tripura Medical College (TMC). He is followed by Congress candidate for West Tripura seat and former vice chancellor of Tripura Central University, Dr Arunoday Saha who has net assets worth Rs 3.38 krores. Retired headmaster and Congress candidate for East Tripura (ST) seat Sachitra Debbarma is also an indigenous ‘Krorepati’ with net assets worth Rs 2.85 krores.

Srijesh Debbarma , an indigenous candidate fighting as independent in the West Tripura seat, has declared net assets worth Rs 1.50 krores based on his landed properties including rubber plantations. Former director of All India Radio (AIR) , Agartala and the president of regional IPFT party in East Tripura , Narendra Chandra Debbarma is another ‘Krorepati’ who is marginally richer than his CPI (M) rival and former minister Jiten Chowdhury. Narendra’s declared net value comprising movable and immovable assets is worth Rs 1.13 crore and sixty five thousand. As a member of traditionally rich peasant family Narendra has a big house in the Kirshna Nagar area in the heart of Agartala town.

The three candidates with lowest assets include Falguni Tripura – only Rs 3,500, Subarnamala Deb Barma – only Rs 7,485 and Patal Kanya Jamatia – only Rs 30,000. Significantly, twenty one of the altogether twenty five candidates have not submitted details of their income tax returns and altogether nine do not even have PAN cards. ‘This is because the indigenous candidates are exempt from income tax payment liability as long as they are in northeast ; this may be the reason why IT details have not been furnished by many’ said sources in the election department.

Three candidates – Tripura Progressive Grameen Congress candidate Subal Bhowmik, Indigenous Peoples Front of Tripura (IPFT) Binay Debbarma and CPI (M) candidate Shankar Prasad Dutta have criminal charges. Grameen Congress candidate Subal Bhowmik has declared pending criminal cases of attempt to murder.

Out of the 13 candidates, one barely passd the eighth standard examination, two passed matriculation, four declared their educational qualification as graduates, two declared themselves as graduate professional, three are post-graduates and one declared his educational qualification as PhD.

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