NEW DELHI — The richest candidate contesting in the first phase of the Gujarat assembly elections is a member of Congress, with assets worth Rs. 141 crore. The next two wealthiest are from the Bharatiya Janata Party, the Association for Democratic Reforms said in a report Dec. 1.
With movable assets worth over Rs. 20 crore and immovable assets of above Rs. 121 crore, contending from the Rajkot West seat, Rajguru Indranilbhai Sanjaybhai is reported to be the richest candidate in the fray by the not-for-profit election data body.
Saurabh Yashvantbhai Dalal Patel, contesting from Botad, and Dhanjibhai Patel from Wadhwan – both from the BJP – stand second and third in terms of wealth, with assets worth Rs. 123 crore and Rs. 113 crore, respectively.
Of the 923 candidates in the fray in phase one, 198 or 21 percent candidates declared themselves millionaires.
The BJP has fielded the most millionaires – 85 percent – at 76 out of the 89 candidates, while the number stands at 60 out of 86 – 70 percent – for the Congress.
Two independent candidates – Unadkat Prakashbhai Vallabhdas and Chauhan Rafik Husen – have declared "zero assets" in their affidavits.
Of the 923 candidates analyzed across parties, 137, or 15 percent, have declared criminal cases against themselves.
Twenty candidates contending from the Congress have "serious criminal cases" – murder, attempt to murder, kidnapping, crimes against women, etc. – against them, while the BJP has 10 such.
The assembly elections will be held in two phases, with the first phase Dec. 9 and the second Dec. 14.