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UP Elections: Richest Candidate Declares Rs 296 Crore Assets, Poorest Just 6,700

UP Elections: Richest Candidate Declares Rs 296 Crore Assets, Poorest Just 6,700

Among the thousands of candidates contesting in the Uttar Pradesh Assembly Elections, 2022. Two candidates - Nawab Kazim Ali Khan of Congress and Sanjay Kumar, an independent one are in limelight.

A man shows his inked finger after casting vote at a polling station, during the first phase of UP Assembly elections, in Dadri.
A man shows his inked finger after casting vote at a polling station, during the first phase of UP Assembly elections, in Dadri. PTI

The richest candidate in fray for the second phase of assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh has assets worth Rs 296 crore, while the poorest has just Rs 6,700, according to a report.

Voting is scheduled to take place on February 14 on 55 assembly seats of the state, spanning the nine districts of Amroha, Bareilly, Bijnor, Budaun, Moradabad, Rampur, Saharanpur, Sambhal and Shahjahanpur in western UP.

The Uttar Pradesh Election Watch and Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) in a report said they have analysed the self-sworn affidavits of 584 candidates out of 586, who are contesting the second phase elections.

The richest candidate, Nawab Kazim Ali Khan, the Congress candidate from Rampur assembly seat, has declared assets worth Rs 296 crore, the report said. 

He is followed by Supriya Aron of Samajwadi Party from Bareilly Cantt seat with Rs 157 crore in assets while BJP's Devendra Nagpal from Naugawan seat declared Rs 140 crore in assets, the report noted.

On the other hand, Sanjay Kumar, who will be contesting as an independent candidate from Shahjahanpur seat, has declared assets worth just Rs 6,700, with all of it movable and nil immovable.

Aam Aadmi Party's Vishal Kumar (Nehtaur seat) and Usmal Malik (Saharanpur Nagar) come next in line with assets worth Rs 13,500 and Rs 15,000, respectively, according to the report.

Overall, 260 (or 45 per cent) out of the 584 candidates in fray during the second phase of polls are crorepatis, the report noted.

Among the major parties, 52 (or 98 per cent) out of 53 BJP candidates, 48 (or 92 per cent) out of 52 Samajwadi Party candidates, 46 (or 84 per cent) out of 55 BSP candidates, 2 (or 67 per cent) out of 3 RLD candidates, 31 (or 57 per cent) out of 54 Congress candidates and 16 (or 33 per cent) out of 49 AAP candidates have declared assets valued more than Rs 1 crore, it stated.

The report found that the average of assets per candidate contesting in the elections is Rs 4.11 crores.

In terms of average assets per candidate among major parties, the SP's figures stood at Rs 11.26 crore followed by BJP (9.95 crore), Congress (Rs 8.20 crore), RLD (Rs 6.20 crore), BSP (Rs 5.74 crores) and AAP (Rs 1.60 crores), it noted. 

The report mentioned that 29 (or 5 per cent) of the candidates contesting the February 14 elections have not declared their PAN details.

The ADR noted that the role of "money and muscle power" is evident from the fact that all major political parties in UP phase two elections have fielded 33 per cent to 98 per cent candidates who are crorepatis and 14 per cent to 67 per cent candidates with criminal cases against themselves. 

"This close and alarming nexus between money power and muscle power has got so ingrained in our electoral system that the citizens are left hostage to the current situation. Thirty-eight per cent of the population of UP is already below the poverty line as per the NFHS 2015-16 report of NITI Aayog published in 2021," it stated.

"Money and muscle power hurt the principles of 'free and fair elections', 'participatory democracy' and 'level playing field'. The present circumstances therefore demand an extensive deliberation by the voters so that sanctity of elections is not ridiculed by tenacious entry of tainted candidates and candidates with abnormal multiplication of assets," the polls reform advocacy group recommended.

Results of the UP assembly polls, being conducted in seven phases, will be announced on March 10.

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