J&K Assembly polls: 28 school drop-outs, 55 crorepatis contesting in 2nd phase

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Srinagar, Dec 1: Out of the 175 candidates in fray in 18 constituencies of Jammu and Kashmir which are going to polls in the second phase on Tuesday, 97 or more than 50 % are not graduates and nine have criminal cases against them.

The affidavits submitted by the candidates along with their nomination papers suggest that nine of them are illiterate while 28 are school drop-outs, according to Association of Democratic Reforms (ADR).

J&K polls: 55 crorepatis in 2nd phase

A total of 55 candidates or 31% are crorepatis and have declared their properties to be worth over Rs one crore. There are only eight women candidates in the fray.

Kuldeep Raj Dubey, BJP candidate from Gool Arnas has declared highest assets worth Rs 14.10 crores, while five other candidates, including separatist-turned-mainstream Sajad Gani Lone, have declared more than Rs 10 crores worth of assets in their affidavits.

Lone, who is contesting on Handwara seat, has assets worth Rs 13.98 crores including moveable assets to the tune of Rs 38.45 lakh.

Interestingly, a total of 11 candidates have declared zero assets in their affidavits, while five candidates have declared liabilities of Rs one crore and above.

"Nine candidates are illiterate, two are class five pass, while 26 are class eight pass and 30 have listed their educational qualification as class 10," ADR said.

While 30 candidates have passed class 12, 18 are simple graduates and 26 professional graduates.

"There are 25 post-graduate candidates, two have a doctorate degree and five have not listed their qualifications," the analysis by the ADR said.

Nine, a total of five per cent, candidates have declared criminal cases against them, while six of them have serious criminal cases, including kidnapping, rioting and forgery registered against them.

Balwant Singh Mankotia of National Panthers Party from Udhampur constituency, in Jammu regions, has declared a case related to kidnapping (IPC Section 363) against him in his poll affidavit.

Mankotia is also facing the charges of rioting, along with his colleague from Reasi constituency, Balwan Singh, BJP's Mendhar assembly segment candidate Zulfqar Hussain Khan and an independent candidate on Handwara seat Ajaz Ahmad Sofi.

Cheating and dishonestly, criminal intimidation, forgery for purpose of cheating, voluntarily causing hurt by dangerous weapons or means and charges related to Act of endangering life or personal safety of others are the other cases the contesting candidates are facing.
109 candidates or 62% have not declared their income tax details.

Though some candidates may be exempted from filing income tax returns under rules, there are 20 candidates with assets worth more than Rs 1 crore, who have not declared such details.

Party-wise the National Conference (NC) has the lowest number of such candidates who have not filed their IT details - five, while Bahujan Samajwadi Party (BSP) and National Panthers Party (NPP) have the highest of 12 and 11 respectively.

Nine candidates of Congress, nine of BJP, eight of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and four out of five Peoples Conference (PC) - headed by separatist-turned-mainstream Sajad Gani Lone - have not filed their I-T returns.

There are 74 candidates who have not submitted their PAN details.

Party-wise, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has the highest number of crorepatis - nine out of 16 (56%), while Congress too has nine but out of 18. National Conference (NC) has eight crorepati candidates, BJP has seven and 12 out of 52 Independent candidates have declared assets worth more than Rs 1 crore.

PTI

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