Gujarat Assembly polls: Report shows 85% are 'crorepatis'

NEW DELHI: The Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) leads the list of major political parties in Gujarat Assembly election having the maximum number of 'crorepati (millionaire)' candidates.

Two of the top three candidates running in the Gujarat Assembly Elections in 2022 with the highest stated assets are BJP members. Balvantsinh Chandansinh Rajput (BJP) declared assets of Rs 372 crore, while Jayantibhai Somabhai Patel (BJP) disclosed assets worth Rs 661 crore. Ajitsinh Parsottamdas Thakor (AAP), who has reported assets totaling Rs 343 crore, is the third candidate among the top three.

A report by the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) indicated that the share of crorepati candidates has gone up over the last 5 years. Out of the 1,621 candidates, 456  or 28% are crorepatis in these polls as against out of 1,815 candidates, 418 or 23% were crorepatis.

"The fact that all major political parties provide tickets to affluent candidates is clear evidence of the influence of money on our elections. Among the major parties, 68 (38%) out of 181 candidates from the AAP, 142 (79%) out of 179 candidates from the Congress, and 154 (85%) out of 182 candidates from the BJP have disclosed assets worth more than Rs 1 crore "he ADR report stated.

Each candidate running in the Gujarat Assembly Elections in 2022 has an average of Rs. 3.58 crore in assets. The report said, the average amount of assets held by each candidate during the 2017 Gujarat Assembly Elections was Rs 2.22 crore.

Among the major parties, the average assets per candidate for 182 BJP candidates analysed is Rs 16.56 crore, 179 Congress candidates analysed is Rs 7.99 crore, 181 AAP candidates have average assets of Rs 3.68 crore and 26 Bhartiya Tribal Party have average assets worth Rs 21.68 lakhs.

All 1,621 candidates running in Phase I and Phase II of the Gujarat Assembly Elections had their self-sworn affidavits analysed by the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) and Gujarat Election Watch. Out of the 1,621 candidates analysed, 476 are affiliated with national parties, 219 with state parties, 302 with registered but unrecognised parties, and 624 are running on their own.

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