State sees a jump in ‘rich’ candidates

The number of ‘crorepati’ candidates went up by nearly tenfold in 2016 compared to the Assembly elections in 2006, according to the Association for Democratic Reforms, an election watchdog.

In 2006, the number of crorepati candidates was 20, while it went up to 69 in 2011. In the 2016 election, the corresponding figure rose to 198. As much as 6% of the crorepati winners cleared the electoral test in 2006, while it rose to 27% in 2011 and 59% in 2016. The data are based on an analysis of self-sworn affidavits by candidates submitted before the Election Commission of India.

In 2011, the Congress topped the crorepati club with 14 candidates followed by the Muslim League (13), CPI(M) (19), and the BJP (9).

The Kerala Congress (M) had six crorepati candidates, while the corresponding number of Independents was five. The number of candidates with total assets of over ₹2 crore in 2011 was 26.

The Congress had 38 crorepati candidates in 2016. Independent candidates were in the second position in the overall tally, with 29 of them figuring on the list. The CPI(M) had 25 crorepati candidates, while the corresponding figure of BJP candidates was 17.

The new entrant to the club in 2016 was the Bharat Dharma Jana Sena (BDJS), an ally of the NDA.

G. Krishnakumar

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