Over half of Mizoram's candidates are millionaires

Aizawl, Nov 18 (IANS) More than half of the 142 candidates contesting the Nov 25 Mizoram assembly elections are millionaires, a report said Monday.

"Of the 142 contesting candidates, 75 (53 percent) are crorepatis. The average asset per candidate contesting in the elections is Rs.2.31 crore," a report of the National Election Watch (NEW) said.

The report said the average asset per Congress candidate (40 candidates) is Rs.2.52 crore, and for 38 candidates of Zoram Nationalist Party (ZNP), a local party, the average is Rs.3.13 crore. For the 31 candidates of Mizo National Front (MNF), the main opposition party, it is Rs.2.69 crore and the average assets of 17 BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) candidates is Rs.10.05 lakh.

average asset per Congress candidate (40 candidates) is Rs.2.52 crore

The NEW and the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) prepared the report after analysing the affidavits of all the 142 candidates in the fray for the 40 seats of the Mizoram assembly.

According to the NEW report, the top three candidates with highest declared assets are R. Lalawia of the ZNP with declared assets worth Rs.68.69 crore followed by K. Sangthuama of the MNF with assets worth Rs.25.57 crore, and Rinzawna of the ZNP with assets worth Rs.12.19 crore.

Among the 75 millionaire candidates, 52 have not provided their PAN details while among the total number of candidates 111 have not revealed their PAN details, the report said. Mizos, as one of the the Scheduled Tribes, are exempt from income-tax.

Zoramchhani of the BJP, who is contesting from the Lengteng constituency, is the poorest candidate with declared assets of only Rs.3,800. She is among a dozen candidates with declared assets of less than Rs.1 lakh.

The NEW report also said that 61 (43 percent) candidates are between 25 and 50 years while the rest are between 51 and 80 years of age.

As for educational qualification, 97 (68 percent) are graduates or with higher degrees while the rest have either passed Class 12 or less.

Six (four percent) of the 142 candidates are women, one of them is contesting as an independent.

Three (two percent) of the 142 candidates have criminal cases against them. The three belong to the ZNP and MNF parties.

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