HP polls: 158 crorepatis, 61 with criminal cases in fray

A total of 158 crorepati candidates are in the fray for the Himachal Pradesh assembly elections — to be held on November 9 — while 61 have declared criminal cases against them, says a report.

Himachal Pradesh Election Watch and Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) have analysed the self-sworn affidavits of all 338 candidates, reported PTI.

“Out of the 338 candidates analysed, 158 (47 per cent) are crorepatis. The average assets per candidate contesting in the Himachal Pradesh assembly elections 2017 is Rs 4.07 crore,” Delhi-based think-tank ADR said in a report.

Among party wise crorepati candidates, 59 out of 68 candidates from Congress INC, 47 of 68 from the BJP, 6 of 42 from the BSP, 3 of 14 from the CPI (M), 1 of 3 from the CPI and 36 of 112 independents have declared assets worth more than Rs 1 crore, it reportedly said.

The report further said that among major parties, the average assets per candidate for 68 Congress candidates is Rs 8.56 crore, for 68 BJP candidates is Rs 5.31 crore and for 42 BSP candidates is Rs 46.78 lakh). The same for 14 CPI (M) candidates is Rs 2.31 crore, 3 CPI candidates’ is Rs 74.64 lakh and for 112 independent candidates is Rs 3.20 crore.

The top candidates with highest assets contesting in the Himachal Pradesh assembly elections are Balvir Singh Verma of BJP with total assets of over Rs 90 crore followed by Vikramaditya Singh of the Congress with over Rs 84 crore, reported PTI.

Five candidates have declared self annual income of more than Rs 1 crore. G S Bali, an INC candidate has declared the highest self income (annual). His annual income is Rs 3.42 crore and he has declared his salary from the Himachal Pradesh government as his source of income, ADR, which works in the area of electoral and political reforms, reportedly said.

The other candidates are independent candidate Rajesh Sharma, Balvir Singh Verma of the BJP, Mahender Singh of the BJP and Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh, reported PTI.

The report noted that, 71 out of 338 candidates have not declared their sources of income.

Also, a total of 20 candidates analysed have not declared their PAN details.

The ADR report further said, “Out of the 338 candidates analysed, 61 (18 per cent) have declared criminal cases against them adding that 31 (9 per cent) have declared serious criminal cases.”

Among party wise candidates with criminal cases, 6 from the Indian National Congress (INC), 23 from the Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP), 3 from the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), 10 from the CPI(M) and 16 independents have declared criminal cases against them in their affidavits, it said.

On education details, the report said 120 candidates have declared their qualification to be between 5th pass and 12th pass, while 214 have a qualification of graduate or above.

There is one candidate who is illiterate, while one has not given his educational details.

Besides, 155 candidates have declared their age to be between 25 and 50 years, while 179 between 51 and 80 years, reported PTI.

In the Himachal Pradesh assembly election, 19 women candidates are contesting, the report added.

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