The richest and the poorest candidates in the first phase of 2019 Lok Sabha elections are contesting against each other from the same seat. An independent analysis shows that both the highest and lowest assets have been declared by candidates from Chevella constituency from Telangana.
The NGO Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) analysed affidavits filed by the candidates before the Election Commission of India (ECI) to ascertain their financial, criminal and educational backgrounds. According to ADR's report, the Congress candidate for the Chevella seat, Konda Vishweshwar Reddy, has declared Rs 895 crore. Meanwhile, Nalla Prem Kumar, who is contesting from the same constituency on Prem Janata Dal's ticket, has declared assets worth only Rs 500.
In his affidavit, Reddy has declared movable assets worth Rs 223.59 crore in form of cash, shares in listed and unlisted companies, bank deposits, investments, jewellery and such. The affidavit claims that his wife K Sangita Reddy holds movable assets to the tune of Rs 612.96 crore. K Viraj Madhav Reddy, who has been named a dependent in the affidavit, holds Rs 19.82 crore in movable assets. They hold immovable assets worth Rs 38.63 crore between them.
In contrast, Nalla Prem Kumar has declared only a bank savings account with Rs 500 as the entirety of his assets.
The ADR report showed that 401 candidates out of the 1,266 analysed have assets worth Rs 1 crore or more. At 69 out of 83 candidates, or 83 per cent, Congress has fielded the most crorepati candidates in the first phase of 2019 Lok Sabha elections. BJP is a close second with 78 per cent of its 83 candidates, or 65 candidates, being crorepatis.
Meanwhile, 23 contenders in the first phase of Lok Sabha elections have declared no assets in their affidavits. A total of 690 candidates have not declared their income tax details. The report stated that 70 crorepati candidates have not declared their income tax return details.
The ADR report showed average asset per candidate contesting in the Lok Sabha phase I election is Rs 6.63 crores. Among major parties, the average assets per candidate for 83 INC candidates is Rs 21.93 crores, 83 BJP candidates is Rs 14.56 crores, 32 BSP candidates have average assets of Rs 12.63 crores, 25 YSRCP candidates have average assets worth Rs 62.94 crores, 25 TDP candidates have average assets worth Rs 57.77 crores, and 17 TRS candidates have average assets of Rs 45.87 crores, the report said.
The first phase of 2019 Lok Sabha elections will take place on April 1. Voters in 91 constituencies across India will choose from 1,279 candidates.
Edited by Vivek Punj