11 crorepatis in fray in April 23 Bengal elections
Out of the 61 candidates across parties contesting from the five West Bengal seats -- Balurghat, Jangipur, Murshidabad, Malda Uttar (North) and Malda Dakshin (South) -- in the third phase of the Lok Sabha elections
Kolkata: Out of the 61 candidates across parties contesting from the five West Bengal seats -- Balurghat, Jangipur, Murshidabad, Malda Uttar (North) and Malda Dakshin (South) -- in the third phase of the Lok Sabha elections, 11 have assets worth over Rs 1 crore, while 15 have declared criminal cases against them, said a study released here on Thursday.
Among the candidates in the fray for the third phase polls in the state, Trinamool Congress' Khalilur Rahaman from Jangipur has topped the crorepati list declaring over Rs 36 crore of assets, followed by the Congress' Abu Hasem Khan Chowdhury contesting from Malda Dakshin Lok Sabha constituency with assets worth more than Rs 27 crore.
Party's Jangipur nominee and former President Pranab Mukherjee's son Abhijit Mukherjee has declared over Rs 14 crore worth of assets, according to the study.
Apart from Rahaman, two Trinamool Congress candidates -- Mausam Noor for Malda Uttar and Md. Moazzem Hossain for Malda Dakshin -- have shown assets worth Rs one crore each while the Congress' Balurghat candidate Abdus Sadek Sarkar has declared over Rs 2 crore worth of properties.
Of the five BJP candidates, three are crorepatis.
Humayun Kabir for Murshidadbad seat has declared properties worth Rs 3 crore, while party's Malda Uttar nominee Khagen Murmu and Sreerupa Mitra Chaudhury for Malda Dakshin have shown assets worth Rs 1 crore each.
CPI-M candidate for Malda Uttar Biswanath Ghosh has declared assets worth over Rs 1 crore.
Average assets per candidate contesting from the five constituencies in the third phase is Rs 1.75 crore based on their self-sworn affidavits, according to an analysis done by West Bengal Election Watch and Association for Democratic Reforms.
Among major parties, the average assets per candidate for the five Trinamool Congress nominees is Rs 8.16 crore, while for the five BJP candidates, it is over Rs 1.29 crore. The Congress and CPI-M candidates have average assets worth Rs 9.05 crore and Rs 81 lakh, respectively.
About eight candidates contesting elections in the third phase polls in the eastern state have not declared their PAN details, while seven have not shown their ITR (income tax return) details, the report said.
The five constituencies will go to the hustings in the third phase of polls on April 23.
"Out of 61 candidates analysed, 15 (25 per cent) candidates have declared criminal cases against themselves," the study said.
According to it, 26 candidates, out of 61, have declared their educational qualification to be between 5th and 12th standard, while 33 candidates have declared having an education qualification of graduate or above and two candidates are illiterate.