The battle of Gujarat has begun. With 89 seats already passing the first phase polling, the state now looks forward to the second phase voting on December 14. A heated political campaign between political bigwigs has given Gujarat Assembly Elections a great attention, but what actually is turning heads this election season is Gujarat’s ‘crorepati’ candidates. Yes! Gujarat’s crorepati candidates who are vying for electoral places this time. Of the total of 997 candidates who contested the first phase of Gujarat Assembly polls, 198 nominees, belonging to different political parties as well as independents, are ‘crorepatis’, an analysis of election affidavits done by two NGOs has found. Sixty-five of these ‘crorepati’ candidates have declared assets worth over Rs 5 crore, while 60 others have shown movable and immovable assets in the range of Rs 2 crore to Rs 5 crore. While the ruling BJP has given tickets to 76 ‘crorepati’ candidates, the opposition Congress has fielded 60 such nominees. They are followed by seven from the NCP, six from the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and two from the BSP.
So, who is Gujarat’s wealthiest candidate in the fray? Well, this place is owned by Congress candidate for Daskroi seat, Pankaj Patel. Who is Pankaj Patel, the man grabbing headlines this Gujarat election? Here’s all you need to know:
1.Pankaj Patel is the wealthiest candidate who declared assets worth Rs. 231.93 crore
2. Pankaj Patel has disclosed his source of income as agriculture and he is also a land dealer and builder.
3. Patel is a graduate of L&C Mehta Arts College in Ahmedabad.
4. This is the first time Congress has fielded Pankaj Patel.
5. Patel has no criminal cases reported against him.
Pankaj Patel is followed by another Congress nominee Indranil Rajyaguru contesting from Rajkot-West seat who has declared assets worth Rs. 141.22 crore. Rajyaguru is followed by BJP candidate for Botad seat Saurabh Patel. Patel, who is former a Gujarat finance minister, has declared assets worth Rs 123.78 crore, the report said. BJP candidate Dhanjibhai Patel of Wadhwan seat is in the fourth place with declared assets of Rs 113.47 crore. Though Dhanjibhai, chairman of Surendranagar-based Makson Group of companies, has emerged third in the ‘crorepati’ list, he is on the top in terms of annual income. According to the last Income Tax returns, the combined income of Dhanjibhai and his family was Rs 113.47 crore. Among the 851 candidates contesting in the second phase, 199 nominees have assets more than Rs. 1 crore, according to the report by the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) and Gujarat Election Watch (GEW), PTI reported.