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Not highly qualified, but minting money

A sample analysis of the candidates vying to be your corporator reveals an irony you would find hard to digest. While only 24.5% are graduates or better qualified, the average assets of candidates from all the five major political parties are worth Rs1.06 crore.

mumbai Updated: Feb 14, 2012 01:08 IST
HT Correspondent

A sample analysis of the candidates vying to be your corporator reveals an irony you would find hard to digest. While only 24.5% are graduates or better qualified, the average assets of candidates from all the five major political parties are worth Rs1.06 crore.

Leading the race is the Congress party. While only 27% of candidates are graduates, a whopping 34% possess assets worth more than Rs1 crore. A Congress candidate tops the list with assets worth Rs1.53 crore.

These are the findings of a sample analysis of affidavits filed by candidates for the upcoming civic polls in the city.

The Mumbai Election Watch (MEW), a project involving organisations such as Agni, Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR), Praja, mumbaivotes.com, has carried out the analysis of 855, or nearly 40% of the total 2,233 affidavits.

Ajit Ranade, founder member, ADR, said, “The idea is to ensure that citizens vote after having an informed view of the candidates. Due to paucity of time, we could analyse only 855 of the total 2,233 affidavits. But, this sample size, which is nearly 40% of the total affidavits, is representative enough for us to draw conclusions from.”

Sharad Kumar, AGNI trustee, said, “Mumbaiites should ensure they do their homework by poring over this data, and ensuring they select clean candidates.” The analysis showed that 111 of those contesting had pending criminal cases against them, of which 57 had cases with serious criminal charges pending against them.

Interestingly, even as 15% of the total candidates contesting have assets worth more than Rs1 crore, there were 15 who declared that they have zero assets. The NCP and the BJP lead the list, where 36% of the candidates have assets worth more than Rs1 crore.