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In Bihar, independents lead pack of moneybags in final phase of Lok Sabha elections

The number of crorepati candidates and those with declared criminal cases in Bihar is the highest in the seventh phase, according to a study by Bihar Election Watch and Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR).

lok sabha elections Updated: May 14, 2019 15:23 IST
Arun Kumar
Arun Kumar
Hindustan Times, Patna
lok sabha elections 2019,lok sabha elections in bihar,lok sabha elections 2019 phase 7
Congress’ Patna Sahib Lok Sabha candidate Shatrughan Sinha is second in the list of richest Bihar candidates in the final phase of parliamentary polls. (Mohd Zakir/HT PHOTO)

In the seventh and final phase of polls in which eight Lok Sabha seats of Nalanda, Patna Sahib, Patliputra, Ara, Buxar, Sasaram, Jehanabad and Karakat go to vote in Bihar on May 19, a maximum of 157 candidates are in the fray.

The number of crorepati candidates and those with declared criminal cases is also the highest in the seventh phase, according to a study by BiharElectionWatch and Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR).

However, percentage of candidates having declared criminal cases in the seventh and final phase is less than the overall figure for all the phases. In the 7th phase, 24% (36) candidates have declared criminal cases while 17% (26) have declared serious criminal cases.

Independent candidates are the cleanest, with just 12% having declared criminal cases. The percentage further drops to 10 when it comes to serious cases.

The maximum number of contestants is in Nalanda (35), followed by Karakat (27) and Pataliputra (25).

The seventh phase also has the highest number of crorepati candidates at 57, which is 37% of the total number of candidates, as compared to the overall 33% for all the seven phases.

The average assets of candidates are also the highest in the final phase, coming to around Rs 11.31 crore, much higher than the average of Rs 4.89 crore for all the seven phases. Independents lead the pack in terms of average assets.

And leading the pack of the rich is Ramesh Kumar Sharma has, an industrialist who has declared assets worth Rs 1,107 crore. Sharma had contested last assembly election from Bikram and lost. In all, he has contested twice and lost on both occasions. This time, Sharma is contesting as an Independent from Pataliputra Lok Sabha seat.

Sharma is followed by Patna Sahib MP Shatrughan Sinha Congress (Rs 193 crore) and Arbind Kumar of the Rajnaitik Vikalp Party from Jehanabad (Rs 91 crore).

In contrast, there are candidates like Sudhir Kumar, in fray as Independent from Nalanda with assets of just Rs 21,000, Anamika Kumar of SUCI-C from Jehanabad (Rs 24,000) and Kuma Hari Charan Singh Yadav of the Bhartiya Momin Front from Nalanda (Rs 36,000). A total of 14 (9%) candidates have not declared their PAN details, while only 80 candidates furnished their income tax return details.

In terms of educational qualifications, 67 (44%) candidates out of the 153 analysed have declared it to be below class 12, while the rest are graduate or above. In age profile, 97(63%) candidates have declared their age to be between 50 years or below. The representation of women continues to be poor at just 13%.

First Published: May 14, 2019 15:23 IST

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