Bhubaneswar: Out of the total 63 candidates (87 per cent) in the fray for the coming Rajya Sabha elections, Mahendra Prasad of Janata Dal United (JD-U) of Bihar has been declared as the richest candidate with total assets worth a whopping Rs 4,078 crore. In contrast, Achyutananda Samananta of Biju Janata Dal (BJD) from Odisha is the poorest candidate with total assets worth Rs 4 lakh only.
This was revealed by the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) after an analysis of the candidates’ self-sworn affidavits.
Mahendra Prasad, popularly known as King Mahendra, is a Member of the Parliament representing Bihar in the Rajya Sabha. Prasad has tootal assets worth a whopping of Rs 4,039 crore (US$620 million). He owns an estimated Rs 5,000-crore Aristo Pharmaceuticals with branches in Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Myanmar and several other countries.
His father Baliram Sharma was a farmer in nondescript Govindpur village in Jehanabad. He entered pharmaceutical business in the 1980s and emerged as a tycoon in a few years.
In a sharp contrast, Samanta, the founder of Bhubaneswar-based Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences (KISS) and Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology (KIIT), had declared his immovable property worth Rs 4.12 lakh and movable property of Rs 83,714 in his affidavit of property and financial assets with the returning officer earlier in the month.
The second lowest worth candidate is Samir Oraon of Bharatiya Janata Party with Rs 18 lakh worth of total assets.
According to ADR report, an overwhelming majority of the 63 candidates (87 per cent) in the fray for the coming Rajya Sabha elections are crorepatis with an average worth of Rs 122 crore.
Although 55 out of the 63 candidates are crorepatis (with assets over Rs. 1 crore), the average worth has spiked thanks to a few very high worth candidates, it said.
Prasad is distantly followed by actress Jaya Bachchan of Samajwadi Party who declared total assets worth Rs 1,001 crore.
B.M. Farooq of Janata Dal-Secular (worth Rs 766 crore), Abishek Manu Singhvi of the Congress (worth Rs 649 crore) and C.M. Ramesh of Telugu Desam Party (worth Rs 258 crore) are the other richest candidates in the fray, the analysis revealed.
Among the major parties, 26 out of 29 (90 per cent) candidates from BJP, 10 out of 11 (91 per cent) candidates from Congress, three out of four (75 per cent) candidates from Trinamool Congress, three out of three (100 per cent) candidates from Telangana Rashtra Samiti, two out of two (100 per cent) candidates from JD-U and one candidate (100 per cent) from Samajwadi Party have declared assets worth more than Rs 1 crore.
Partywise, the average net worth of each candidate of the 29 candidates of the BJP is Rs 16 crore while that of the 11 candidates of the Congress is Rs 66 crore.
The four Trinamool candidates have the lowest average worth of Rs 1 crore, matched by the sole candidate of the Communist Party of India-Marxist.
Eight out of 63 candidate shave serious criminal charges against them such as kidnapping, attempt to murder and robbery etc, the report said. (WIth IANS Inputs)