From two candidates in the 2012 Assembly polls who had assets worth over Rs 100 crores, there are at least seven candidates in the Rs 100 crore-plus club this time. There were seven billionaires in the fray in 2017 too.
In Mansa of Gandhinagar, where Congress won in 2017 with a margin of 500-odd votes, BJP has fielded Jayanti Patel, 64, who has immovable and movable assets worth Rs 661.28 crores in total, as declared in his affidavit. The Congress and AAP candidate in this constituency have assets totalling around one crore rupees each.
Congress turncoat Balvantsinh Rajput, 61, who is contesting from Sidhpur in Patan district on a BJP ticket, where Congress’s Chandanji Thakor had won in 2017 by a handsome margin of 17,000 votes, has declared assets worth Rs 367.89 crores.
Rajput, who was the richest candidate in the 2012 elections (declared assets worth Rs 268 crores then), has seen his assets’ worth grow by nearly 40 percent in the 10 intervening years. He switched from the Congress to the BJP in 2017.
In another constituency in Patan—Radhanpur—where Congress’s Alpesh Thakor had won in 2017 (Thakor joined BJP in 2019 and will be contesting this year from Gandhinagar South), the Congress has fielded Raghunath Desai, a builder with assets worth Rs 140 crores. Desai had contested from the Chanasma seat in 2017, but lost.
Rajkot district will also witness two billionaire candidates—the BJP’s Ramesh Tilala from Rajkot South, and the Congress’s Indranil Rajyaguru from Rajkot East.
Tilala, 57, has declared movable assets worth Rs 16.35 crores. He has also declared immovable assets worth Rs 156.42 crores, bringing the total to around Rs 172 crores.
Congress’s Indranil Rajguru, 56, has declared Rs 66.85 crores worth of movable assets and Rs 92.99 crores worth immovable assets, totalling to nearly Rs 160 crores.
BJP’s Dwarka candidate Pabubha Manek, who won the 2017 elections by a margin of over 5,000 votes, has reported immovable and movable assets totalling Rs 115 crores, an increase by 30 percent from the Rs 88.42 crores he had reported in 2017. In 2012, he had reported assets worth Rs 31.66 crores, indicating he has nearly quadrupled the value of his assets in 10 years.
Jawahar Chavda, 58, the BJP candidate from Manavadar seat in Junagadh, where Congress had won in 2017 with a comfortable margin of over 29,000 votes, has declared movable assets worth Rs 25.49 crores and immovable assets worth Rs 104.66 crores, totalling to Rs 130 crores.
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