Election officers check Electronic Voting Machines (EVM) and Voter Verified Paper Audit Trail (VVPATs) ahead of the second phase of Bihar Assembly election at Bankipur Girl’s High School, in Patna (Photo by Santosh Kumar/ Hindustan Times)
Election officers check Electronic Voting Machines (EVM) and Voter Verified Paper Audit Trail (VVPATs) ahead of the second phase of Bihar Assembly election at Bankipur Girl’s High School, in Patna (Photo by Santosh Kumar/ Hindustan Times)

Over 15% candidates did not file I-T returns

A total of 1.463 candidates have filed their papers for contesting the elections for the 94 seats that will go to polls in the second phase of the Bihar assembly elections, on Tuesday. However, of these, more than 200 contestants have not filed their income tax return before filing the papers for the election.
Hindustan Times, Patna | By Ajay Kumar Pandey
UPDATED ON NOV 02, 2020 09:03 AM IST

With the end of election campaign for second phase of elections for 94 assembly constituencies going to the polls on November 3, some startling facts have come to the fore about the nominees of the these seats.

Nearly 15 per cent candidates did not file their income tax returns irrespective of their incomes.

It has come to light during analysis of their affidavits, submitted with their nomination forms before the election department officials and uploaded on the websites of the Election Commission of India (ECI) as well as the districts’ official sites.

Altogether 1,463 persons have filed their papers for contesting the elections for these seats. However, more than 200 contestants have not filed their income tax return before filing the papers for the election. The candidates from 11 constituencies of Muzaffarpur district have topped the chart of this list as nearly 42% of them have not filed their income tax return. “There are 95 candidates in the battle for ballot this time for 11 seats. Forty out of them have admitted through affidavits that they had never filed their income tax,” said Pramod Kumar, a social activist and an independent data analyst from Muzaffarpur.

“We have analysed the data from entire state, filed by the contestants for second phase elections. And many interesting facts have come out. This fact is one of them. They have not furnished their permanent account number (PAN), issued by the Income Tax Department for financial transactions, even after they showed their income over Rs 5 lakh per annum, the lower limit of filing an ITR for any financial year. It indicates that most of the candidates are illiterate on their financial management front,” said Kumar.

“Ironically, three toppers of the list of the richest candidates, too have never filed their ITR and they have asserted it through their affidavits. Jagdish Prasad Verma, an RLSP candidate from Patna Sahib is one of them. Chandrika Rai of JD(U) from Parsa in Saran and Suman Kumar Mahaseth of VIP are other two candidates. Verma admits that his income is Rs 11 crore per annum, while Rai and Mahaseth earn Rs 11 crore and Rs 9 crore respectively,” he said.

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