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146 'crorepatis' contesting Himachal polls: NGO

PTI  Shimla, October 25, 2012
First Published: 21:52 IST(25/10/2012) | Last Updated: 21:54 IST(25/10/2012)

As many as 146 candidates contesting the upcoming Himachal Pradesh Assembly elections are 'crorepatis', according to a NGO report.

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The study conducted by Himachal Pradesh Election Watch, an NGO generating awareness among voters, also found that assets of 54 MLAs, re-contesting polls this year, grew on an average by 172% since the 2007 elections.

Leading the table is Brij Behari Lal Butail of Congress from Palampur constituency with assets worth Rs. 169 crore, followed by Balbir Singh Verma (independent candidate from Chopal) with Rs. 41 crore and Congress candidate Ram Kumar (Doon constituency) with Rs. 36 crore.

Assets of Congress MLA from Mandi, Anil Kumar, have grown from Rs. 3.11 crore in 2007 to Rs. 29.70 crore in 2012 while the assets of GS Bali, Congress MLA from Nagrota, increased from Rs. 3.81 crore to Rs. 24.81 crore during the same period.

Veteran Congress leader Vidya Stokes, contesting from Theog, has also declared an increase in her assets from Rs. 97 lakh to Rs. 8.05 crore, the report said.

Four MLAs -- Khushi Ram Balnath and Govind Ram (BJP), Harshwardhan and Lakhvinder Singh Rana (Congress) -- have reported decrease in their assets this year as compared to 2007.

Polling for the 68-member Himachal Pradesh Assembly will take place on November 4.

While the average increase in the assets of 37 candidates who have again been given tickets by BJP is Rs. 1.04 crore, the 41 candidates renominated by Congress have shown average increase of Rs. 4.59 crore in their assets.

HPEW analysed affidavits of 445 candidates out of 459 candidates who are contesting this year's Himachal elections.

As many as 58 candidates have declared their assets below Rs. 5 lakh while 55 candidates in the fray have shown liabilities of more than Rs. 25 lakh.

Among major parties, the average asset per candidate for Congress is Rs. 7.39 crore, for BJP it is approximately Rs. 1.55 crore, CPM Rs. 1.72 crore, NCP Rs. 77.61 lakh, BSP Rs. 54.32 lakh, AITC 49.51 lakh, and SP 29.73 lakh.

Seventy-nine out of 445 candidates, including three crorepati candidates, for 2012 assembly elections have not declared their PAN details.


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