Eighty-seven percent of the candidates contesting the upcoming Rajya Sabha elections are crorepatis, with JD(U)'s Mahendra Prasad having the highest assets worth Rs 4,078 crore, says a release by election watchdog Association of Democratic Reforms (ADR).
The other top candidates with the highest assets are actor-turned politician Jaya Bachchan of SP (over Rs 1,001 crore), BM Farooq of JD (S) (over Rs 766 crore), Abhishek Manu Singhvi of Congress (over 649 crore), CM Ramesh of TDP (over Rs 258 crore), the release said.
Jaya Bachchan, who is contesting from Uttar Pradesh, has a declared liability of over Rs 105.64 crore, while Singhvi has over Rs 98 crore liability, Farooq over Rs 97 crore and Ramesh over Rs 39 crore, it said.
Vemireddy Prabhakar Reddy, who is contesting from Andhra Pradesh, with a total declared assets of over Rs 230 crore, has liabilities of over Rs 96 crore, the ADR said.
The election watchdog has analysed the self-sworn affidavits of 63 out of 64 candidates contesting for the Rajya Sabha elections to be held on 23 March for 59 seats in 16 states.
One candidate – Dhiraj Kumar Sahu (INC) – contesting from Jharkhand has not been analysed as his affidavit was badly scanned.
The average assets of 63 candidates analysed was Rs 122.13 crore, the release said, adding 55 candidates or 87 percent were 'crorepatis'.
Among the party-wise crorepati candidates, 26 out of 29 candidates from the BJP, 10 out of 11 candidates from Congress, three out of four candidates from AITC, three candidates from TRS, two candidates from JD(U) and a candidate from SP have declared assets worth more than Rs 1 crore, the release said.
There were 16 or 25 percent candidates with criminal cases, while eight candidates had serious criminal cases against them such as kidnapping, attempt to murder, and robbery.
The candidate with the lowest declared total assets is Achyutananda Samananta of BJD who has assets worth Rs 4.96 lakh. Other candidates with low assets are Samir Oraon, V Muraleedharan , Sakaldeep of BJP (over Rs 18 lakh, Rs 27 lakh, and Rs 35 lakh, respectively) and Rajmani Patel of Congress (over Rs 34 lakh), the release said.
As many as 13 candidates have declared total annual income of more than Rs 1 crore in their ITR 2016-17 with Mahendra Prasad showing the self-income of over Rs 303 crore, Singhvi over Rs 130 crore and Farooq over Rs 10 crore.
Jaya Bachchan had declared Rs 13 lakh as her self-income, but her total income amounted to over Rs 78 crore if the income of spouse and dependent were included.
Rajeev Chandrasekhar of the BJP, who is contesting from Karnataka, had a self-income of over Rs 28 crore.
Seven (11 percent) candidates have declared their educational qualification to be between 10th and 12th, while 55 (87 percent) candidates have declared themselves as graduates or above, the release said.
None of the candidates have declared their age below 42 years with 38 (60 percent) candidates under the age group of 42 to 60 years, while 25 (40 percent) candidates declared their age between 61 to 80 years.
Five women candidates are contesting the election to the Upper House, the release added.