In the cash-starved Jammu and Kashmir, there is no dearth of crorepati politicians. Forty per cent of the 123 candidates contesting Assembly polls in the first phase have assets worth crores of rupees.

The ruling National Conference (NC) leads the list with 69 per cent. Opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has 50 per cent crorepati candidates followed by the BJP with 46 per cent and the Congress 33 per cent. Apart from these big parties, there are independent contestants also who have declared assets in crores.

Interestingly, the average assets per candidates contesting the first phase of elections in the state is Rs 1.38 crore. The revelations have come to the fore in a report submitted by the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) – an organisation established in 1999 by a group of professors from the Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Ahmedabad.

The report is based on the analysis of affidavits submitted by the candidates, which were submitted while filing their nomination papers.

The report reveals that NC candidates have average assets worth Rs 3.99 crores followed by PDP candidates with Rs 2.42 crores, Congress candidates with Rs 1.43 crores and BJP candidates with Rs 1.4 crores.

No PAN details

However, 10 candidates, who have assets worth more than Rs 1 crore, have not even declared PAN details. Two NC candidates — Forest Minister Mian Altaf Ahmad and Minister of State for Home Sajjad Kichloo — have declared assets worth more than Rs 10 crore while PDP’s Yasir Reshi is also in the Rs 10 crore club.

However, there are three candidates in the list who have declared assets less than Rs 50,000. They are Nazir Ahmad Raina BJP candidate from Ganderbal, Mohammad Iqbal Zargar and Mohammad Yousuf, both independents from Bandipora and Doda constituencies, respectively.

Five candidates, who have filed nominations in the first phase, have criminal cases registered against them. 

These included Usman Abdul Majid of Congress from Bandipora, Sheikh Mohammad Iqbal of PDP from Bhaderwah, Aijaz Hussain of NCP from Kishtwar, Mohammad Yousaf and Nazir Ahmad, independents from Doda and Sonawari constituencies respectively.

The ADR report also reveals that 59 per cent of the candidates have an education qualification of 12th or below while 39 per cent of them have declared having an education qualification of graduate or above. Two candidates are illiterates.

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