Chennai: Several crorepati candidates are in the fray for the April 18 Lok Sabha elections. Among them, the Congress candidate and lawmaker representing Nanguneri, H. Vasanth Kumar, who is challenging Union Minister Pon Radhakrishnan in Kanyakumari, is perhaps the richest candidate in the field with assets worth Rs 417.49 crore.
In fact, the southern Kanyakumari constituency alone has three crorepati candidates. Besides Vasanth Kumar, Pon Radhakrishnan's assets are worth Rs 7.49 crore and MNM candidate Ebenezer has assets worth Rs 2 crore.
In his affidavit, Vasanth Kumar stated that his income, which was Rs 19.87 crore as per the 2013-14 income tax return, increased to Rs 28.93 crore in 2017-18, about a 45.59 per cent increase. The Congress leader, along with his wife is a shareholder in Vasanth & Co and Tamil satellite television channel 'Vasanth TV.' His borrowings from banks and financial institutions stands at Rs 154.75 crore and he owes no dues to the government.
Congress party's Sivaganga candidate and son of former Union Minister P. Chidambaram, Karti Chidambaram filed his papers, declaring assets of over Rs 79.38 crore. Another Congress candidate for Theni and former TNCC chief EVKS Elangovan has Rs 15.5 crore worth assets.
DMK candidate for Thoothukudi and Rajya Sabha MP Kanimozhi, who is daugher of late DMK stalwart M. Karunanidhi, has assets of over Rs 30 crore. The value of her movable assets was Rs 21.16 crore. She had two four-wheelers, including a BMW X5, valued at Rs 84.11 lakh. The gross market value of her immovable assets is Rs 8.92 crore, she said in her affidavit. Of the six cases aga-inst her, she had been acquitted in the 2G Spectrum allocation scam in 2017.
Her party colleague and former Union Telecom Minister A. Raja declared movable and immovable assets valued at around Rs 3.1 crore. Raja, has also been acquitted in the 2G Spectrum case and he is contesting from the Nilgiris reserved Lok Sabha constituency.
Raja disclosed that six criminal cases were pending against him and he was not convicted in any. His annual income showed an increase in the last five years, from Rs 8.04 lakh in FY 2013-14 to Rs 9.95 lakh in FY 17-18. Former Union Minister Dayanidhi Maran has assets over Rs 11.67 crore.
AIADMK candidate for Karur and Lok Sabha Deputy Speaker M. Thambidurai has assets worth about Rs 10.70 crore while the party's south Chennai candidate J. Jayavardhan has assets valued at about Rs 2.90 crore.
The saffron party is not far behind. BJP state president Dr Tamilisai Soundararajan contesting from Thuthookudi has declared assets worth about Rs 2 crore while BJP national secretary H. Raja who filed his nominations from Sivaganga, declared assets of over Rs 2.62 crore and liabilities of Rs 59.10 lakh.