Democracy is an abundance of riches, as the worth of the new occupants of the Upper House benches is being revealed in the run up to Rajya Sabha 2014. 36 out of 55—over 70 per cent—are crorepatis.
Property is one of the major wealth factors listed and many of the new candidates are businessmen who have entered politics or vice-versa. Bihar may be one of the poorest states and seeking special status, but the richest candidate in the new pantheon of Elders is security services millionaire RK Sinha, a BJP nominee.
The combined declared assets of Sinha and wife is around Rs 800 crore. Standing behind him is an Independent candidate from Maharashtra, the Pune-based real estate moghul Sanjay Kakade, who has declared assets worth Rs 485 crore. Maharashtra is the land of sugar and honey, and all its seven candidates including Republican Party of India boss, Ramdas Athawale are crorepatis. Agriculture Minister and NCP chief Sharad Pawar has declared assets exceeding Rs 32 crore. Advocate Majid Menon (NCP) has shown property worth around Rs 23 crore. Congress senior leader Murli Deora has property around `28 crore. Congressman Hussain Dalwai has declared property worth more than Rs 4 crore. Shiv Sena candidate and Videocon owner Raj Kumar Dhoot’s declared assets are worth around Rs 19 crore.
Athawale may be a Buddhist by faith and a poet by inclination, but he seems to be worth Rs 3 crore. The next Rajya Sabha will see a spate of millionaires. Three candidates from Madhya Pradesh, two from Jharkhand and almost all the seven contesting candidates from Andhra Pradesh are crorepatis. Andhra Pradesh, known for its mining magnates and rich businessmen, throws up few surprises in the richie rich category.
All seven candidates in the fray, except MA Khan, are crorepatis. According to their affidavits, the Congress candidate and versatile biz-politico and Tollywood powerhouse T Subbirami Reddy and his wife Indira have assets worth about Rs 422 crore.
Independent candidate, gentleman farmer and entrepreneur Adala Prabhakar Reddy declared assets worth Rs 128 crore. Congress senior leader KVP Ramachander Rao’s worth is about Rs 23 crore — a politician, he comes from a family involved in exports business. The other contesting candidates are no less rich.
The TDP is no poorer—its candidate Garikapati Mohan Rao declared a net worth about `38 crore. Another TDP candidate Ramalakshmi declared assets of more than `6 crore. Telangana makes its millionaire mark with TRS candidate K Kesava Rao declaring assets worth more than `3 crore.
In Madhya Pradesh, Congress candidate Digvijaya Singh and former Raja of Ragogarh, returning from a decade of ‘vanaprastha’ declared assets worth more than `2 crore. Both BJP candidates Prabha Jha and Satya Narayan Jatiya have assets more than `. 1 One crore. The development index of Gujarat is reflected in its RS candidates’ list: among the four candidates from the state, three are crorepatis. Madhusudhan Mistry of Congress is worth more than `1 crore. BJP candidates Shabhuprasad Tundia and Chinibhai Gohil are worth more than ` 2.5 ccrore and `11 crore respectively. From Assam, both Congress candidates Sanjay Singh, former Raja of Amethi and Bhubaneshwar Kalitha have declared assets worth more than ` 6 crore.
Resource rich, tribal Jharkhand has two candidates, both crorepatis. Independent candidate Parimal Nathwani has assets worth more than `50 crore and Prem Chand Gupta, supported by the UPA has assets worth more than `6 crore. Veteran Congresswoman and Rajya Sabha candidate from Himachal Pradesh Viplove Thakur has declared assets more than `1 crore.
The Trinamool Congress candidate from West Bengal, the Chandigarh-based businessman KD Singh has property worth more than `80 crore. Yesteryears disco dancer Mithun Chakroborty has assets around `10 crore. In Tamil Nadu, AIADMK candidate S Muthukaruppan has shown property worth more than `6 crore.
According to a recent survey by the Association of Democratic Reforms (ADR) and the National Election Watch (NEW), Mahendra Prasad of the Janata Dal (United) is at present the richest Rajya Sabha MP, with total assets worth `683 crore followed by Independent member Vijay Mallya with `615 crore and Samajwadi Party MP Jaya Bachchan worth `493 crore.
Courtesy: The New Indian Express