The Times Of India
Himanshi Dhawan
New Delhi

Potential lawmakers have no qualms in breaking the law. Across the three states - Uttarakhand, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh - that are going to polls next week, over 30% of the candidates have never filed their income tax returns. To make matters worse, about 13% have not given their PAN card details.

According to data analyzed by Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) - a think-tank working for electoral reforms - some of the most prominent candidates have not filed their I-T returns.

In UP, a total of 96 candidates (34%) out of the 284 candidates, who are contesting in the first phase of election, have declared that they have never filed I-T returns. About 40(14%) candidates have not declared their PAN details of which 10 are from SP, BJP (9), JD (U) (7), Peace Party (6), INC (4) and BSP (3).

Among the candidates with maximum assets but who have never filed I-T returns are SP's Farid Mahfuz Kidwai contesting from Kursi with total assets of Rs 3.52 crore, followed by Congress's Gauri Sankar from Mahadewa (Rs 2.88 crore) and BJP's Ram Sajivan from Ram Nagar (Rs 2.57 crore).

In Punjab, 23% or about 92 candidates out of 408 have declared that they have never filed I-T returns. These include Congress's Karan Kaur contesting from Muktsar with total assets of Rs 128 crore, followed by his colleague Ramanjit Singh Sikki from Khadoor Sahib (Rs 20.12 crore) and SAD's Gurpartap Singh Wadala contesting from Nakodar (Rs 13.71 crore). About 12% or 47 candidates do not have a PAN number of which five each are from Congress and SAD, PPP (7) and BSP (18).

A similar pattern is evident in Uttarakhand, where ADR found that 99 or 36% of the 278 candidates have admitted that they have not filed their I-T returns. Among them Shahjad of BSP has the highest assets of about Rs 6.52 crore, followed by Kaleem of BJP (Rs 3.15 crore) and Congress's Sarwaryar Khan from Udham Singh Nagar (Rs 1 crore). About 15% or 42 candidates have not declared their PAN card details.

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