Srinagar: Every third candidate in the fray for Lok Sabha polls in the six seats of Jammu and Kashmir, where polling will end on May 7, is a ‘crorepati’ with the richest of them having declared property worth nearly Rs 100 crore.
Of the 78 candidates who have entered the electoral arena in JK, 27 are crorepatis, according to affidavits submitted along with nomination papers filed for the general elections.
Opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate for Srinagar Lok Sabha seat, Tariq Hamid Karra, is by far the richest of the lot with assets valued at nearly Rs 100 crore.
Party-wise, BJP has highest number of crorepati candidates (four) followed by National Conference (three), PDP and Congress (two each). Apart from these big parties, there are Independent contestants also who have declared assets in crores.
Karra’s party colleague and the candidate for Baramulla constituency, Muzaffar Hussain Baig, is next on the list with assets worth Rs 16.46 crore while ruling National Conference president and Union minister Farooq Abdullah, fighting for the Srinagar seat, has declared assets worth Rs 13.10 crore.
But alongside the crorepatis, there are as many as 10 aspirants in the fray who have declared assets worth less than Rs 1 lakh.
The most interesting is the case of two Independent candidates. Mohammad Imtiaz—who contested from the Jammu Lok Sabha seat—is penniless, has no bank account and does not own immovable property.
Similar is the story of 40-year-old Raj Kumar, also a contestant for the Jammu seat. Kumar has Rs 500 in his bank account, which was probably opened for the purpose of filing nomination papers for the poll. However, his spouse, whom he has mentioned as a ‘senior citizen’ in the occupation column, owns assets worth Rs 20 lakh.
As to the other crorepatis contesting polls in the state, there is Independent candidate A K Gupta, who had fought the poll battle for the Udhampur Lok Sabha seat. Gupta has movable and immovable property worth Rs 5.20 crore.
He is followed by Union Minister and Congress candidate for the same constituency, former J-K chief minister Ghulam Nabi Azad, who has assets worth Rs 4.14 crore.
National Conference candidate and sitting MP Sharief-ud-Din Shariq owns assets valued at more than Rs 3 crore, as does the BJP candidate for the Udhampur seat, Jitendra Singh, and Independent Nirmal Singh, who contested the Jammu seat.
Of the six Lok Sabha seats in the state, polling has already been held in Jammu, Udhampur, Anantnag and Srinagar while people in Baramulla and Ladakh seats will vote on May 7 for their respective seats.—PTI