When affidavits were filed by the contestants for the 2008 assembly polls declaring their wealth,it was a close race between the two dominant money-spinning sectors in Karnataka real estate and iron ore mining.
Affidavits filed by 5,376 candidates in the fray for the May 5 assembly polls show that the real estate sector that flourishes in and around Bangalore and,to a lesser extent,around cities such as Mangalore,Mysore and Belgaum,now stands head and shoulders above the iron ore mining sector of Bellary.
While there were nearly 45 candidates with real estate riches in the fray in the 2008 polls and nearly 30 with mining riches,the number now is around 75 for real estate players and barely 10 for the mining businessmen. The reason: absence of the Reddy brothers and their supporters.
Like in the case of the 2008 polls,the candidate to declare the most wealth for the 2013 polls is a real estate businessman. And the second wealthiest is an iron ore mining businessman but the gap between the wealth of the two is huge.
The richest candidate is 29-year-old Priya Krishna from the Congress who is contesting from the Govindrajnagar constituency in Bangalore with a declared wealth of Rs 910.99 crore. Krishnas father M Krishnappa is a real estate tycoon and the Congress candidate from the neighbouring Vijayanagar constituency. Krishnappa is popularly known as Layout Krishnappa for the large tracts of land he has converted into real estate fortune.
The second on the list of the wealthiest is the Bellary mining tycoon Anil Lad,39,of the Congress who will contest the Bellary City seat. In the mining downturn,Lad has done away with a Bell Helicopter and an Audi from his garage and has added a Harley Davidson but his wealth has grown since 2008. Despite a massive downturn in the iron ore mining industry following a ban to enforce a crackdown on illegal mining,Lad who declared wealth of Rs 177.99 crore in 2008 is now up at Rs 288.99 crore with a Bentley occupying pride of place in his garage.
The third on the list is a surprise in the form of a chartered accountant who goes by the name Auditor Nagaraj Yaluchavadi,47,contesting on a Congress ticket from the Tumkur Rural constituency with a total wealth of Rs 236.38 crore. Prabhakar Reddy,42,a Bangalore real estate businessman contesting on a Janata Dal Secular ticket from the Bangalore South constituency follows with Rs 233.88 crore. Santhosh Lad,38,a mining businessman and younger cousin of the mining baron Anil Lad,who is contesting on a Congress ticket from Kalghatgi has declared assets worth Rs 186.40 crore. Lad is famous for organising mass weddings in his constituency with Bollywood stars in attendance at the peak of the mining boom.
Among the other big Bellary mining businessmen left in the poll fray this time is Anand Singh,47,a BJP candidate for the Vijayanagar seat in Bellary,with Rs 104.53 crore. Singh,who is under CBI investigations in the multi-crore illegal mining racket in Bellary,had in 2008 declared wealth of Rs 95.90 crore. His Congress rival for the Vijaynagar seat H Abdul Wahab,70,also a mining businessman,has declared assets worth Rs 71.04 crore.
The president of the BJP breakaway BSR Congress party B Sreeramulu,a close aide of the incarcerated Bellary mining businessman-politician G Janardhan Reddy,has declared assets worth Rs 43.67 crore. The Janata Dal Secular party in particular has attracted several rich real estate businessmen from Bangalore and its surrounding areas as its candidatesT V Javarayi Gowda,54,from Yeshwanthpur (Rs 150.58 crore); S T Anand in Rajajinagar (Rs 92.74 crore); and K S Sameeullah,50,in Jayanagar (Rs 77.71 crore).
The Bangalore real estate tycoons in the ranks of the BJP include Nandish Reddy,41,the incumbent MLA for the Krishnarajapura constituency with Rs 118.92 crore,he had declared a total wealth of Rs 38 crore in 2008. The BJP also has B G Garudachar,53,who attempted to get into the Rajya Sabha from Bihar a few years ago,on its rich list with Rs 95.74 crore of assets; G Krishna Palemar,57,from Mangalore with Rs 69.25 crore and Sathish Reddy,42,from Bomannahalli with Rs 41.81 crore.
The husband-wife combination of JDS state president H D Kumaraswamy,54 and his wife Anita Kumaraswamy,50,both of whom are contesting the polls,have declared combined assets of Rs 137.36 crore. Anita Kumaraswamy who owns a television network is incidentally also the richest woman candidate in the fray with her individual assets of Rs 118.83 crore. Kumaraswamys brother H D Revanna has declared a total wealth of Rs 23.67 crore.
The Jharkhiholi family in Belgaum,long-time politicians and businessmen from the region,will have three brothers in the fray with Satish,50 and Ramesh,52 contesting on Congress tickets. Satish has declared total assets of Rs 63.05 crore while Ramesh has declared Rs 57.94 crore. A third brother Balachandra who is in the BJP has declared wealth of Rs 12.65 crore.
Karnataka Janata Party president former BJP chief minister B S Yeddyurappa,70,who is facing corruption charges with respect to mining and real estate deals carried out by his sons,has declared total assets of Rs 5.83 crore.