42 billionaires, 53 with criminal cases in fray in Chhattisgarh


Raipur : As many as 42 billionaires and 53 people with criminal cases against them are in the fray in Chhattisgarh’s second and final phase of polling for 51 seats Thursday.

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The fate of 687 candidates, including independents, will be decided Thursday. The polling for the first phase to elect 39 legislators took place Nov 14. The state assembly has 90 seats.

“There are 42 candidates who have declared assets of over Rs. 1 crore (10 million). The maximum number of 19 is from the Congress, followed by seven from the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and five from the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP),” said a report compiled by the Chhattisgarh Election Watch (CGEW).

The report is based on affidavits submitted by candidates along with nomination papers.

But despite being filthy rich, several candidates have not submitted their permanent account numbers (PAN), said the election watchdog.

The report said 29 candidates had declared that they have no bank deposits. The list includes eight politicians whose asset value otherwise total over Rs.1 million.

“There are 53 candidates with criminal cases against them. They include eight from BSP and seven each from the Congress and BJP,” the report said.

About 8.8 million people are eligible to vote Thursday at 10,314 polling stations between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.

Among the contestants are eight ministers as well as state BJP president Vishnudeo Sai (Pathalgaon), Congress state president Dhanendra Sahu (Abhanpur), former chief minister Ajit Jogi (Marwahi) and his wife Renu Jogi (Kota).

In the outgoing assembly, the BJP has 52 members and the Congress 34.