Kerala Lok Sabha candidates roll in wealth
The contrast could not be more stark: the richest and the poorest Lok Sabha aspirants from Kerala belong to the Congress.
But, then, candidates of the Congress-led ruling United Democratic Front (UDF) are far wealthier than those of the opposition Left Democratic Front (LDF).
Thirteen UDF candidates are richer than their LDF counterparts. Only seven LDF candidates have more money than their UDF opponents.
NA Mohammed, who is contesting from Kasaragod, is the richest Congress candidate with declared wealth of Rs 112 million, according to an affidavit filed by him along with his nomination papers.
Mohammad has cash in hand of Rs 200,000, bank deposits, jewellery and commercial buildings worth Rs 93 million, while his wife Suraya has assets worth Rs 18 million.
The poorest Congress candidate is KA Thulasi, with a net worth of just Rs 15,000. She has declared gold worth Rs 13,500 and cash of Rs.1,500.
Against this, the poorest LDF candidate is Chengara Surendaran of the Communist Party of India (CPI) with declared assets of Rs 29,174.
The richest LDF candidate is newspaper baron MP Veerendara Kumar, the front-runner for the Kozhikode seat. He has assets of Rs 46 million.
PM Ismail of the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M), contesting from Muvattupuzha, has declared a wealth of Rs 7 million, while former Kerala chief minister PK Vasudevan Nair of the CPI is worth Rs 500,000.
P Karunakaran has wealth of Rs 5 million, of which Rs 3 million belongs to his wife Laila, daughter of legendary CPI-M leader AK Gopalan.
Former minister S Krishnakumar is the richest of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) candidates at Rs 10 million. Krishnakumar had only recently crossed over from the Congress to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) that leads the NDA.
Other rich NDA candidates are Minister of State for Law PC Thomas, who has assets worth Rs 4.5 million, and Minister of State for Defence O Rajagopal, who has declared Rs 600,000.