Millionaires line up to enter Chhattisgarh assembly

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New Delhi, Nov 8: As many as 188 - 22 percent - of contestants in the second phase of the Chhattisgarh assembly polls are millionaires, a report compiled by Chhattisgarh Election Watch and Association for Democratic Reforms found.

Average worth of assets per candidate contesting the second phase of assembly elections is Rs.1.56 crore.

The top three candidates with the highest declared assets are Tribhuneshwar Sharan Singh Dev of the Congress from Ambikapur constituency, with declared assets of Rs.561.5 crore; Raja Surendra Bahadur Singh of the Gondwana Ganatantra Party from Sakti constituency, with assets of Rs.46.1 crore; and Rajkamal Singhania of the Congress from Kasdol constituency with assets of Rs.33.31 crore.

Meanwhile, 367 of the 840 candidates have not declared details of their income tax Permanent Account Number (PAN).

Party-wise, average worth of assets for the Congress's 72 candidates is Rs.11.21 crore; for 72 BJP candidates the average is Rs.2.10 crore; for 71 BSP candidates, it is Rs.57.88 lakh. The average assets of the Chhattisgarh Swabhiman Manch's 43 candidates are worth Rs.1.12 crore.

The assets of 55 outgoing MLAs were also analysed by the non-governmental organisations.

The average worth of assets of these 55, who are re-contesting this year and were fielded by various parties in 2008, was Rs.1.31 crore. The average assets growth for these re-contesting MLAs, between the Chhattisgarh assembly elections of 2008 and 2013, is Rs.2.04 crore.

Rajkamal Singhaniya of the Congress from Kasdol constituency has declared maximum increase in assets, of Rs.23.14 crore. From Rs.10.17 crore in 2008, his assets rose to Rs.33.31 crore in 2013.

Amitesh Shukla of the Congress from Rajim constituency has increased his assets by Rs.17.11 crore, from Rs.4.15 crore in 2008 to Rs.21.26 crore in 2013.

Assets of Gurumukh Singh Hora of the Congress from Dhamtari have risen by Rs.5.66 crore, from Rs.6.02 crore in 2008 to Rs.11.68 crore in 2013.

A total of 275 (33 percent) candidates are graduates or have higher degrees; 537 (64 percent) candidates have educational qualification of Class 12 pass or less.

Only 70 (8 percent) women are contesting in the second phase of the Chhattisgarh 2013 assembly elections.

Among the major political parties, the Congress has fielded 11 women, while nine women are contesting under a BJP ticket.

In the first phase of polls in Chhattisgarh, of the 143 candidates contesting, 25 (17 percent) have assets of Rs.1 crore or more.

The first phase of polls will be held Nov 11, and the second phase Nov 19.

IANS

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