The number of candidates having assets worth crores and contesting the NMMC elections has gone up while the number of those with criminal records has reduced. According to statistics revealed by the Association of Democratic Reforms (ADR), 37 per cent of the 537 candidates are crorepatis while 10 per cent have criminal cases against them. The statistics have been culled by the ADR based on affidavits filed by the candidates contesting the elections on April 22.

According to the ADR report, out of the 537 candidates analysed, 201 are crorepatis and 24 have declared assets more than Rs 10 crore while two candidates have declared assets worth more than Rs 100 crore. Incidentally, in the party-wise breakup of crorepatis, both the Rs 100 crore plus worth asset candidates belong to the Congress party. The candidates in question are Santosh Shetty and Anita Shetty contesting from ward 91 and 100 respectively, in Nerul.

However, the maximum crorepati candidates belong to the NCP. Out of its 101 candidates in the fray, 59 are crorepatis, followed by the Shiv Sena that has 38 crorepati candidates out of the 61 contesting. The Congress party, fielding 85 candidates, has 27 crorepatis while out of BJP’s 42 candidates, 24 are crorepatis.

Speaking about the trend, Sharad Kumar, one of the observers of Maharashtra Election Watch, said, “The efforts of ADR are being rewarded. There seems to be a concerted effort by parties to field candidates who are financially sound to contest the elections, but at the same time attempts have been made to field only those candidates who do not have a criminal record against their name, which is a good initiative,”said Mr Kumar.

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