Shimla: Around 90 percent of the Congress candidates in Himachal Pradesh assembly polls to be held on Saturday are crorepatis against 82 percent of the ruling BJP, according to a report.
The AAP, which has fielded candidates on 67 of the total 68 assembly constituencies, has 35, or 52 percent, crorepati nominees, according to the report by the Association for Democratic Reforms.
The BSP is fighting polls on 53 seats and 25 percent (or 13) of its candidates are crorepatis while 36 percent (four) of candidates of CPI(M) are on the rich list. As many as 45 independent candidates are also crorepatis.
Sixty-one Congress candidates and 56 BJP nominees are crorepatis.
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In total, 55 percent (226) of the 412 candidates fighting the 2022 elections are crorepatis in Himachal Pradesh.
Balvir Singh Verma, the BJP candidate from the Chopal constituency in Shimla, tops the list of crorepati candidates with total assets of Rs 128 crore.
Vikramaditya Singh, who is fighting the election from the Shimla Rural seat and is the son of former chief minister Virbhadra Singh, is second with total assets of Rs 101 crore.
R S Bali, the son of late Congress leader G S Bali and fighting polls from the Nagrota seat in Kangar district, is third on the list with total assets of Rs 96.36 crore.
Also, 66 crorepati candidates are facing criminal charges and Rakesh Singha of the CPI(M) from the Theog seat faces the maximum number of criminal cases at 30.
Kuldip Singh Tanwar of the CPI(M) from Kasumapti seat in Shimla district faces 20 criminal cases, while Vikramaditya Singh is facing 11 criminal cases
Another report released by the ADR showed that out of the 58 re-contesting MLAs, assets of 49 MLAs (84 percent) have increased ranging from five percent to 1,167 percent and assets of nine MLAs (16 percent) have decreased ranging from (-) 4 percent to (-) 37 percent.
The average assets of these 58 recontesting MLAs fielded by various parties, including independents, in 2017 were Rs 9.30 crore which increased to Rs 12.08 crore in 2022.
The average asset growth for these 58 recontesting MLAs, between the assembly elections of 2017 and 2022, is Rs 2.77 crore while in percentage terms, the growth is 30 percent.
Balbir Singh Verma declared the maximum increase of Rs 37.71 crore in assets since 2017. The assets of Anil Sharma of the BJP increased by Rs 17.23 crore from Rs 40.24 crore in 2017 to Rs 57.48 crore in 2022.
Assets of Vikramaditya Singh have risen by Rs 17.06 crore from Rs 84.32 crore in 2017 to Rs 101.39 crore in 2022.
In party-wise analysis, the average assets of 35 recontesting BJP candidates rose by Rs 3.20 crore (44 percent) to Rs 10.46 crore in 2022 from Rs 7.25 crore in 2017. For 20 Congress candidates, the average asset increase was Rs 2.3 crore (17.72 percent) to Rs 15.31 crore in 2022 against Rs 13.01 crore in 2017.
More than 55 lakh voters in the hill state will decide the fate of 412 candidates, including Chief Minister Jairam Thakur, Vikramaditya Singh, and former BJP chief Satpal Singh Satti, in 68 constituencies on Saturday.