Wealthy Indian politicians prefer nothing less than Mercedes, BMWs, Jaguars, Audis or gas-guzzling SUVs to scorch the road.
While marquee brands like Mercedes, BMWs and Jaguars appear to be hot-favourites for the rich and mighty, home- grown SUVs like Scorpios and Tata Safaris are among other common brands.
Lawyer by profession and BJP candidate from Amritsar, Arun Jaitley owns a Mercedes, BMW, Honda Accord and Porsche. Besides, the legal eagle — who reported a total income of Rs 2.61 crore in 2012-13 fiscal — has a Toyota Fortuner, his poll affidavit shows.
Another BJP member, Bhojpuri film star Manoj Tiwari, who contested from North East Delhi seat, has a fleet of cars, including Audi Q7, Mercedez Benz E280, Fortuner and Honda City GXI.
Bollywood actor-turned-politician Hema Malini, BJP candidate from Mathura, owns a Mercedes and Toyota Innova while her husband, superstar Dharmendra, has a Range Rover, Maruti 800 and a motorbike in his name.
Sitting Nagaur MP, Congress’s Jyoti Mirdha, the richest woman in the first phase of polls from Rajasthan, is also a proud Merc owner. Haryana Janhit Congress party chief Kuldeep Bishnoi owns five cars, including a Jaguar XF, an Audi Q7 and a Range Rover.
Former cricketer Mohd Azharuddin, who is contesting polls on a Congress ticket from Tonk-Sawai Madhopur, owns a Honda CR-V and a BMW 650i.
BJP contestant from Bellary (Karnataka) B Sreeramulu is one of the few politicians to own the iconic Hummer in India. Another BJP leader, Meenakshi Lekhi has not listed any vehicle in her name, but has declared Jaguar, BMW, Beetle and Chevrolet cars in her husband’s name. Her husband, Aman Lekhi, is a lawyer by profession.
Union minister Jyotiraditya Scindia has a BMW, which he inherited. Actress Gul Panag, the AAP candidate from Chandigarh, has got a TVS moped as also a Hero Honda bike, along with a Scorpio, an Audi and an Innova. Panag’s rival Kirron Kher (BJP) has listed a Mercedes Benz in her name, as also a Scorpio and a BMW in her husband’s name. The Congress MP from this seat, Pawan Bansal has got a Maruti Esteem and a Honda City.
Realty baron Anil Kumar Sharma, who is eyeing the Jahanabad seat in Bihar on a JD(U) ticket, has declared he owns a Ford Endeavour. One of the richest candidates, R Prabhakara Reddy, who is hoping to win the Bangalore Rural constituency on behalf of JD(S), has declared nine motor vehicles. Besides a Maruti 800 and Mahindra Jeep, he owns two Mercs, a Hyundai Santro, a Hyundai Accent, Skoda Rider and a BMW.
He also possesses a Royal Enfield Bullet. Abhijit Mukherjee, son of President Pranab Mukherjee, who is seeking re-election from Jangipur, West Bengal, has listed a Maruti-800 car in his affidavit. AAP leader Shazia Ilmi has listed one yacht in her husband’s name. Congress leader Krishna Tirath from Delhi has got a humble WagonR.
Meanwhile, Sandeep Dikshit, a sitting MP and son of former Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, has got a Nissan Micra, two TVS bikes, one TVS scooty, one Bolero SUV and one Hero bicycle (purchased in 2012 for Rs 3,500).
He has also listed another BSA SLR bicycle in name of his daughter Yamini (purchased for Rs 4,000 in 2012). Others with bikes in their asset-sheets include Dhruv Narayan Karn (a Left candidate from Madhubani), while Aam Aadmi Party candidate from the same constituency, Neeraj Pathak, has listed a ‘Royal Enfield’ bike, a sturdy two-wheeler commonly known as ‘Bullet’.
The ‘Bullet’ gang also includes BJP leader from Araria (Bihar) Pradeep Singh, while his JD-U rival Vijay Mandal has got ‘Rajdoot’ — another sturdy bike which used to be very famous at one point of time. Among the humble variants, Vespa scooter and Maruti-800 car have been declared by Bihar’s RJD leader Abdul Bari Siddiqui, while journalist-turned-politician Chandan Mitra (fighting from West Bengal on BJP ticket) has a Honda scooter.
JD-U candidate from Kishanganj (Bihar) has also got a Hero Honda bike, while AAP’s Ashutosh has got a Yamaha bike along with a Volkswagen car. Those owning a tractor include Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde, Congress’s Priya Dutt and BJP leader Nikhil Kumar Choudhary.