In the upcoming maiden elections to the Panvel Municipal Corporation, 39 per cent of the candidates have declared their assets to be worth Rs 1 crore, reveals a report filed by the Association for Democratic Reforms. Formed in October last year, the PMC will go to polls on May 24 and the fight is expected to be between the Shiv Sena, the BJP and the Peasants and Workers’ Party (PWP), which is in an alliance with the Congress and NCP. The report, which analyses the affidavits submitted by the candidates, states that the highest number of candidates with assets worth Rs 1 crore are primarily from the BJP and Bharatiya Shetkari Kamgar Paksh (BSKP). Of the 414 candidates, 161 have assets worth Rs 1 crore and 76 per cent of the candidates from the BJP (59 candidates) and BSKP (41 candidates) each are in this category.
Other parties include Shiv Sena with 21 such candidates, Congress with seven, MNS with six and NCP with three. Based on the affidavits, the average worth of assets of every candidate amounts to Rs 2.28 crore. At the other end of the spectrum, three of the candidates have declared zero assets in their affidavits. The report indicated that there are six candidates who have declared their total annual income to be more than Rs 1 crore.
The analysis of the affidavits also revealed that 59 candidates have declared criminal cases against themselves while 43 others have declared serious criminal cases, including offences like murder, kidnapping, criminal intimidation and forgery, among others. The highest number of such candidates are from the BJP (22) followed by BSKP (12), seven are from the Shiv Sena and six are from MNS.
As far as serious criminal cases are concerned, 16 such candidates are from BJP, eight are from BSKP and four each from the Sena and MNS.
With reference to educational qualifications, 25 per cent of the candidates have passed eighth grade while 17 per cent have cleared Class X. Only 3 per cent of the candidates are post-graduates. While 17 per cent candidates are graduates, 5 per cent have declared themselves to be graduate professionals.
The report has analysed the affidavits of 414 candidates of the total 418 who are contesting for 78 seats in 20 multiple member wards of the PMC.
In the elections, while the Sena has fielded 65 candidates, its ally, the Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana (SSS), has fielded 13. The BJP has fielded all 78 candidates for the civic polls. The PWP has fielded 48 candidates, the Congress has fielded 18 and the NCP 12.