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The Hindu
The Hindu
The Hindu Bureau

Lok Sabha polls: Affidavits filed by high-profile candidates spark intense interest

Details of the wealth, sources of income and other assets of high-profile candidates have come into sharp focus in the run-up to the April 26 Lok Sabha polls in Kerala.

Among the 290 candidates who had filed the nomination forms, the declarations by high-profile candidates Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, BJP’s Rajeev Chandrasekhar, and Thiruvananthapuram MP Shashi Tharoor have perhaps drawn attention the most.

Mr. Gandhi, who is gearing up to defend his UDF seat in Wayanad has assets valued at over ₹20 crore, according to the affidavit filed by the 53-year-old leader. He has declared movable assets worth ₹9.24 crore and immovable assets worth ₹7.93 crore. According to his declaration, his income in 2022-23 was ₹1.02 crore.

Mr. Gandhi also has an undemarcated 50% share in inherited agricultural lands in Sultanpur Mehrauli, jointly owned with his sister Priyanka Gandhi, in addition to an office space at Gurugram. He also has ₹55,000 in hand.

The affidavit of Rajeev Chandrasekhar, the Minister of State for Electronics and IT and the BJP candidate in Thiruvananthapuram, has declared movable assets worth ₹13.69 crore (including offshore assets) and immovable assets worth ₹14.40 crore.

Mr. Chandrasekhar’s income, declared in the 2022-23 income tax return column, is ₹5.59 lakh. He has also shown an income of ₹680 for 2021-22, and ₹17.51 lakh for 2020-21. In the column for declaring details of vehicles, Mr. Chandrasekhar has listed a 1942 model Red Indian Scout purchased in 1994. Mr. Chandrasekhar also has ₹52,761 in hand.

Sitting MP Shashi Tharoor, who is contesting from Thiruvananthapuram for the fourth time, ha declared ₹49.31 crore-worth of moveable assets and ₹6.75 crore in immovable assets. He owns two Maruti cars and one-fourth share in agricultural land in Elavancherry. For 2022-23, he has declared his income as ₹4.32 crore.

Actor Suresh Gopi, the BJP’s hope in Thrissur, has declared movable assets worth ₹4.07 crore and an income of ₹4.39 crore in 2023-24. The actor also owns eight vehicles including two caravans.

Another candidate whose affidavit has sparked interest interest is former Finance Minister T. M. Thomas Isaac, the LDF candidate in Pathanamthitta. Mr. Isaac’s movable assets consisted primarily of a collection of 20,000 books, valued at ₹ 9.60 lakh.

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