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64 candidates are penniless: Survey

Sixty-four of the candidates competing for the state’s 288 Assembly seats — including seven from Mumbai — have not a rupee to their names, according to a study based on their affidavits.

india Updated: Oct 12, 2009 00:53 IST
Sujit Mahamulkar

Sixty-four of the candidates competing for the state’s 288 Assembly seats — including seven from Mumbai — have not a rupee to their names, according to a study based on their affidavits.

Meanwhile, the sitting MLAs seem to have done very well for themselves: About 70 per cent have seen their personal wealth go up by an average of 339 per cent.

In all, there are 461 crorepatis contesting the Maharashtra state election.

The really bad news: Only three of the penniless candidates have PAN cards, which enable the Income Tax Department to keep track of a citizen’s earnings and bank accounts.

These and other quirky facts emerged in a survey report compiled by Association for Democratic Reform (ADR) and National Election Watch, an umbrella organisation comprising over 1,200 organisations.

Of the 196 sitting MLAs re-contesting — which meant their affidavits were available for both the 2004 and 2009 elections — the average increase in their assets was 339 per cent.

The ones that have done the best for themselves over the last five years include Suresh Jain and Devendra Satam (Shiv Sena), Rajendra Darda (Congress) and Narsayya Adam (CPI (M)).

“We compiled the report on the basis of the candidates’ affidavits,” said Ajit Ranade, one of the founder members of ADR.

Party-wise listings revealed that the NCP topped the list of crorepatis (74 per cent) followed by the Congress (63 per cent), the BJP (52 per cent), the Shiv Sena (45 per cent) and the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (24 per cent).