Silver has added a sparkle to assets declared by many women leaders in fray for Lok Sabha elections, including biggies like Sonia Gandhi and Sushma Swaraj, as a spike in the price of white metal has pushed up their wealth.
The price of silver, also known as poor man’s gold, has nearly doubled in the past five years and currently stands at nearly Rs 43,000 per kilogram.
An analysis of affidavits filed by some of the prominent candidates contesting the Lok Sabha polls reveal that many of them possess silver assets – including jewellery and articles. Value of these items has grown considerably on the back of increased prices.
In most of these cases, the silver assets owned by the leaders are their ancestral properties.
The value of silver assets of Congress President Sonia Gandhi, who is contesting from Rae Bareli, has surged by nearly Rs 21 lakh in the past five years.
She has 88 kilograms of silver and its value has jumped to Rs 39.16 lakh this year from about Rs 18.37 lakh in 2009, as per her election affidavits. The quantity remained unchanged from 2009.
Cine star Jaya Prada Nahata, who is fighting from Uttar Pradesh on RLD ticket, has disclosed that 1.5 kilogram owned by her is now worth over Rs 69,000. This marks a significant rise from the earlier recorded value of her silver at about Rs 30,000 in 2009.
Congress leader Chandresh Kumari Katoch, fighting the polls from Rajasthan, too has seen the value of her silver assets more than double to Rs 13.5 lakh. In 2009 and 2014, the total quantity of silver owned by her has remained same at 30 kilogram.
Another well-known politician who seems to have a liking for silver is senior BJP leader Sushma Swaraj. As per the latest affidavit, her silver assets have increased to 5.5 kilogram, now worth over Rs 2.36 lakh, whereas she just owned about 400 grams in 2009.
Congress leader Girija Vyas owns 2.5 kilogram silver, valued at about Rs 1.15 lakh.
Among others, Union Minister and Congress member Preneet Kaur has mentioned in her 2014 affidavit that she has Rs 3 lakh worth silver.
NCP leader and Union Minister Sharad Pawar’s daughter Supriya Sule owns silver valued at around Rs 4.3 lakh. Congress leader Sandeep Dikshit has disclosed silver assets to the tune of Rs 1.36 lakh.
Not only the women candidates in the fray, in many cases, the spouses of male candidates also own silver articles.
Expelled BJP leader Jaswant Singh’s wife has seen the value of silver utensils -weighing seven kilogram- more than double in the past five years to Rs 32 lakh.