Lok Sabha aspirants possess guns, horses and artworks

Written by PTI | New Delhi | Updated: Apr 9 2014, 17:51pm hrs
Lok Sabha pollsThe nomination process typically starts about a month before the polling date and the nomination for the last, ninth phase, would end on April 24. Reuters
At least 100 Lok Sabha aspirants possess pistols, rifles and other firearms as their 'assets', alongside many others in poll arena with 'valuable' items like artwork, health clinic, treadmill, orchard and books.

There are thousands of candidates in fray for a total of 543 Lok Sabha seats and their declared assets also include Arab horses, paintings, sculptures, as also household items like refrigerators, TV sets, mobile phones, tractors and cows.

The list could grow further as the nomination process is still on for the Lok Sabha polls, which began yesterday and are spread across nine phases till May 12.

The nomination process typically starts about a month before the polling date and the nomination for the last, ninth phase, would end on April 24.

Along with the nomination papers, the candidates need to file an affidavit detailing their total assets and liabilities along with other details.

An analysis of the affidavits filed so far shows that those possessing various firearms -- collectively worth lakhs of rupees -- include leaders from different parties such as the new entrant Aam Aadmi Party, Congress, BJP, Samajwadi Party, RJD and BSP.

The prominent names from BJP include party President Rajnath Singh, party's Pilibhit candidate Maneka Gandhi, former Army chief V K Singh, who is fighting from Ghaziabad seat in Uttar Pradesh, and ace shooter Rajyawardhan Rathore (Jaipur rural seat).

Other big names who have declared firearms as their assets include Union Minister Srikant Kumar Jena and former Karnataka Chief Minister Sadanand Gowda.

While Rajnath Singh has listed two revolvers, worth Rs 20,000, Gandhi has a rifle valued at Rs 40,000. Both are fighting the polls from Uttar Pradesh.

Jena owns a revolver worth over Rs 10,000 whereas Gowda has a Rs 55,000 revolver as one of his possessions.

AAP candidate from Delhi, Devinder Kumar Sehrawat, has mentioned a NSP pistol valued at Rs 2 lakh as an asset in his affidavit.

Others include AAP's Parveen Amanullah, RJD's Sri Bhagwan Singh Kushwaha -- both are contesting from Bihar -- and BJP's Sarvesh Kumar from Uttar Pradesh.

Not just guns, artworks and paintings too find a place in the assets list of aspirants looking to find a place in the 16th Lok Sabha. For instance, the Nilekani couple -- Nandan and Rohini -- together have paintings and artwork valued at over Rs 1.5 crore.

While Nandan's such assets are valued at Rs 21.5 lakh, that of his spouse is worth Rs 1.28 crore.

Nandan, the co-founder of IT major Infosys, is fighting general elections for the first time. He is contesting from Bangalore South on a Congress ticket.

Among the lot of contestants having a penchant for finer possessions, former BJP leader Jaswant Singh stands out. Fighting as an independent from Barmer in Rajasthan, he is a proud owner of three Arab horses, including two gifted by the Prince of Saudi Arabia.

Besides the three horses, whose value is pegged at Rs 3 lakh, the politician-cum-author owns a herd of 51 'Tharparkar cows' having a market value of about Rs 3,10,000.

Meanwhile, Union Minister Farooq Abdullah, seeking re-election from Srinagar, Jammu & Kashmir, owns share in the Khalmulla Ganderbal common orchard, according to the affidavit filed along with his nomination papers.

Unlike many others in the poll fray, Trinamool Congress leader and lawyer Kalyan Banerjee, contesting from Srerampur in West Bengal, has listed books among his list of assets.

Interestingly, some contestants have mentioned computers, treadmills, wet grinders and air conditioners in their list of assets.

Former Karnataka chief minister and JD(U) leader H D Kumaraswamy has listed a treadmill, valued at Rs 25,000, three air conditioners, wet grinder, two DVD players and four television sets as assets.

BJP's candidate from Chandi Chowk constituency in Delhi, Harsh Vardhan, a doctor by profession, has declared 'clinic assets' worth Rs 10,775.

The party's candidate from another constituency in the national capital, East Delhi, Mahesh Girri has on the other hand listed 'paintings, sculptures, valuable art pieces and other household items' worth Rs 25 lakh in his affidavit.