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Power begets power: 456 contesting candidates in Gujarat are 'crorepatis'

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Role of money in elections is evident from the fact that all major parties give tickets to wealthy candidates, says election watchdog. It says that average assets per candidate in the Gujarat polls is Rs 3.58 crore.

New Delhi, Nov 29: Contesting elections is not for the poor anymore, at least not in Gujarat where 28 per cent of the candidates who are contesting in the elections, are crorepatis. All the leading political parties have given tickets to wealthy candidates. Out of the 1,621 candidates, 456 (28 per cent) are crorepatis, according to a latest report by the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) and Gujarat Election.

Power begets power: 456 contesting candidates in Gujarat are crorepatis

In 2017, out of 1,815 candidates, 418 (23 per cent) were crorepatis. "The role of money power in our elections is evident from the fact that all major political parties give tickets to wealthy candidates. Among the major parties 154 (85 per cent ) out of 182 candidates analysed from BJP, 142(79 per cent ) out of 179 candidates analysed from INC and 68(38 per cent ) out of 181 candidates analysed from AAP have declared assets valued more than Rs 1 crore," the statement from the election watchdog read.

Gujarat polls: 972 candidates have criminal cases since 2004, says ADRGujarat polls: 972 candidates have criminal cases since 2004, says ADR

Value of assets (Rs.) Number of candidates
5 crores and above 167
2 crores to 5 crores 151
50 lakhs to 2 crores 281
10 lakhs to 50 lakhs 398
less than 10 lakhs 624

Table: Share of wealth amongst contesting candidates

The report claims that the average of assets per candidate contesting in the upcoming poll is Rs 3.58 crore which was Rs 2.22 crore in 2017. As far as the parties are concerned, the average assets per candidate for 182 BJP candidates analysed is Rs 16.56 crore. The average assets of Congress and AAP are Rs 7.99 crore and Rs 3.68 crore, respectively.

Party Gujarat Assembly 2017 Gujarat Assembly 2022
Number of Candidates Analysed Number of Crorepati Candidates Number of Candidates Analysed Number of Crorepati Candidates
BJP 181 147 182 154
INC 176 129 179 142
BHARTIYA TRIBAL PARTY 6 3 26 0
SP 4 2 17 2
AAP 28 11 181 68
Independent 791 60 624 56
BSP 138 5 101 6

Table: Party Wise Crorepati Candidates: 2017 vs 2022

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Richest Candidates BJP's Jayantibhai Somabhai Patel (JS Patel) is the richest contestant in the fray with Rs 661 crore declared assets. He is followed by Balvantsinh Chandansinh Rajput from BJP (Rs 372 crore) and AAP's Ajitsinh Parsottamdas Thakor (Rs 343 crore). Zero Assets Candidates There are six candidates who have declared zero assets. The details of these candidates is given below: Low Asset Candidates BSP's Rakeshbhai Sureshbhai Gamit has the lowest declared movable assets (Rs 1000) among the candidates. He is followed by IND's Jayaben Mehulbhai Boricha (Rs 3,000) and BSP's Solanki Dipakbhai Mulajibhai (Rs 6,000).

Name Constituency Party Movable Assets (Rs) Immovable Assets (Rs) Total Assets (Rs)
Jayantibhai Somabhai Patel (J.S. Patel) Mansa BJP 1,47,03,74,800 5,14,25,06,700 6,61,28,81,500 661 Crore+
Balvantsinh Chandansinh Rajput Sidhpur BJP 2,66,62,12,415 1,06,03,22,386 3,72,65,34,801 372 Crore+
Ajitsinh Parsottamdas Thakor Dabhoi AAP 83,07,125 3,42,25,00,000 3,43,08,07,125 343 Crore+

Key points:

Education details of candidates: 997(62 per cent ) candidates have declared their educational qualifications to be between 5th and 12th standard while 449(28 per cent ) candidates have declared having an educational qualification of graduate or above. 48 candidates are Diploma holders. 85 candidates have declared themselves to be just literate and 42 candidates are Illiterates.

Age details of candidates: 561(35 per cent ) candidates have declared their age to be between 25 to 40 years while 861 (53 per cent ) candidates have declared their age to be between 41 to 60 years. There are 197 (12 per cent ) candidates who have declared their age to be between 61 to 80 years and 2 candidates have declared they are more than 80 years old.

Gender details of candidates: 138(9 per cent ) female candidates are contesting in the Gujarat assembly election 2022. In 2017 Gujarat Assembly Elections, 122(7 per cent ) out of 1815 candidates analysed were women.

National parties collected Rs 15,077 crore from unknown sources between 2004-05 and 2020-21: ADR reportNational parties collected Rs 15,077 crore from unknown sources between 2004-05 and 2020-21: ADR report

Candidates with Criminal Cases: Out of the 1,621 candidates analysed in Gujarat Assembly elections 2022, 330(20 per cent ) candidates have declared criminal cases against themselves. In 2017 Gujarat Assembly Elections, out of 1815 candidates analysed, 253(14 per cent ) had declared criminal cases against themselves.

Candidates with Serious Criminal Cases: 192(12 per cent ) have declared serious criminal cases. In 2017 Gujarat Assembly Elections, 154 (8 per cent ) candidates had declared serious criminal cases against themselves.

Table: Party Wise Candidates with Declared Criminal Cases: 2017 vs 2022

Number of re-contesting MLAs: Number of re-contesting MLAs analysed in the assembly elections of 2022 is 126.

Average assets of re-contesting MLAs in 2017: The average assets of re-contesting MLAs in 2017 was Rs 7.86 crores

Party Gujarat Assembly 2017 Gujarat Assembly 2022
Number of Candidates Analysed Number of candidates with Declared Criminal Cases Percentage of candidates with Declared Criminal Cases Number of Candidates Analysed Number of candidates with Declared Criminal Cases Percentage of candidates with Declared Criminal Cases
BHARTIYA TRIBAL PARTY 6 2 33% 26 8 31%
INC 176 56 32% 179 60 34%
BJP 181 46 25% 182 32 18%
SP 4 1 25% 17 5 29%
AAP 28 4 14% 181 61 34%
BSP 138 17 12% 101 2 2%
Independent 791 65 8% 624 119 19%

Average assets of re-contesting MLAs in 2022: The average assets of re-contesting MLAs in 2022 is Rs 10.57 crores.

Average growth in assets of re-contesting MLAs from 2017 to 2022: The growth in average assets of re-contesting MLAs is Rs 2.70 crores i.e. by 34 per cent .

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