30 per cent Lok Sabha aspirants are crorepatis
Election by election, politics is becoming a more expensive profession to pursue. Political parties spend huge amounts on campaigning, whether on the ground or to advertise on TV and social media. Money has now become one of the most crucial factors in contesting elections and this is reflected in the wealth of candidates contesting the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
The India Today Data Intelligence Unit analysed the affidavit data by the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) of all the contestants and found out that around 30 per cent of them have assets worth more than Rs 1 crore.
The Bharatiya Janata Party is fielding the maximum crorepatis this election, having given tickets to 363 crorepatis. It's followed by the Indian National Congress, which is fielding 349 crorepati candidates, and the Mayawati-led Bahujan Samaj Party with 129 crorepati candidates.
WHICH IS THE RICHEST PARTY?
Though the maximum number of crorepati candidates have been fielded by the top three parties -- BJP, INC and the BSP -- in per centage terms they are beaten by other political parties.
The DIU found that there were three such parties that have given Lok Sabha tickets only to crorepatis. All the candidates fielded by Andhra Pradesh's Telugu Desam Party (TDP), Punjab's Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and Tamil Nadu's All India Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) have assets worth more than Rs 1 crore.
The parties that follow these three are the Tamil Nadu-based Dramuk Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) where 96 per cent candidates are crorepatis, followed by Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) at 90.4 per cent, and Andhra Pradesh-based YSR Congress party with 88 per cent candidates.
In BJP, the per centage of crorepati candidates is 83.4 per cent while in Congress, the figure is 83.1 per cent. The 129 crorepatis contesting on a BSP ticket form only 33.8 percent, making it the party with minimum crorepatis in percentage terms.
Only 13.7 per cent independent candidates were crorepatis.
Interestingly, the Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party, which carries the 'common man's' tag is also full of crorepatis at 60 per cent.
WHO ARE THE TOP TEN CROREPATIS?
The list of the 10 richest candidates is dominated by Congress taking up six spots, followed by two from YSRCP, one from TDP, and one independent.
Ramesh Kumar Sharma, an independent candidate contesting from Bihar's Pataliputra has declared assets worth Rs 1,107 crore making him the richest candidate of all. He is followed by KV Reddy (INC) from Telangana (Rs 895 crore), Nakul Nath (INC) from Madhya Pradesh(Rs 660 crore), Vasanthakumar H from Tamil Nadu (Rs 417 crore) and Jyotiraditya Scindia from Madhya Pradesh (Rs 374 crore).
Of the top ten richest candidates, seven were graduates, two were twelfth pass and one was 10th pass. Also, eight of these richest candidates are involved in business, one is a salaried person, and one is in politics.
WHICH STATES HAVE THE MAXIMUM CROREPATIS?
Arunachal Pradesh has the highest per centage of crorepati candidates. Of the twelve candidates contesting the Lok Sabha elections from the state, 10 are crorepatis. The state is followed by Meghalaya, Mizoram, Daman and Diu, Lakshadweep and Nagaland.
Since the size and number of contestants in these seats is small, we also checked the figures for bigger states.
Among them, Jammu and Kashmir (48%), Himachal Pradesh (45%), Uttarakhand (42%), Andhra Pradesh (42%), Haryana (39%) and Uttar Pradesh (38%) are at the top.
Though TDP was in the top five list of richest parties, Telangana, the state where it is majorly contesting, has the lowest per centage of crorepatis.
Only 17.5 per cent of the candidates are crorepatis, followed by Gujarat where only 20 per cent candidates are crorepatis. Kerala (21%), Tripura (21%), Tamil Nadu (23%) and Chhattisgarh (23%) too had low per centage of crorepati candidates.