The Times of India
New Delhi

The assets declared by Rajya Sabha election winners throw up quite a few surprises. Some of the well-off politicians defy popular perceptions. Chandan Mitra of BJP, who runs The Pioneer daily newspaper, is wealthier than LJP's Ram Vilas Paswan. But Paswan's Rs 2 crore declaration has political observers gasping in disbelief. Congress's Anand Sharma has declared Rs 4 crore, BJP's Rajiv Pratap Rudy has the same figure while his senior M Venkaiah Naidu has assets worth Rs 8 crore. Mitra has assets worth Rs 9.41 crore.

Besides Mallya and Jairam Ramesh, Anil Dave of BJP has claimed he has no immovable property. His total assets are worth Rs 2.7 lakh, one of the lowest in list of MPs. Other rich MPs include BSP chief Mayawati's aide Satish Chandra Mishra with assets valued at Rs 24 crore. He figures at No. 9 in list of rich MPs. Ram Jethmalani of BJP is at No. 7 with Rs 30 crore assets and Vijay Darda of Congress at No. 5 with assets valued at Rs 50 crore.

At the bottom of the ladder are Ram Kripal Yadav of RJD with Rs 27 lakh worth of assets, Shashi Bhushan Behera of BJD with Rs 30 lakh, BJP's Tarun Vijay Rs 33 lakh and, as mentioned earlier, Jairam Ramesh of Congress at Rs 62 lakh. NGO Association for Democratic Reforms came up with the figures based on affidavits submitted by candidates to the Election Commission for polls held in 13 states in two phases on June 14 and 17, 2010. Anil Bairwal of ADR said the information was not available on candidates from TN as the EC is yet to provide details.

A total of 15 candidates, or 28%, declared in their affidavits they have pending criminal cases against them, of which six face serious charges. These include attempt to murder, wrongful confinement and cheating and forgery. All the candidates with pending criminal cases have won the elections.

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