66% of state below poverty line, 35 ‘crorepati’ candidates!

AGARTALA : – Altogether 35 candidates of the total 297 contesting candidates in the ensuing Assembly elections are ‘crorepatis’, (people with assets worth over a crore of rupees )according to Tripura Election Watch (TEW), a poll watchdog. That’s interesting. The average assets for candidates contesting this election is around 47 lakh rupees. Tripura, by the way, has 66 percent of its population below the poverty line!

Among the wealthy candidates, the  BJP has the maximum number of 18 crorepatis, while Indian National Congress (INC) has nine crorepati candidates. Three nominees from the ruling CPI(M) have also found place in the wealthiest league.

Jishnu Debbarma, who is contesting the elections in Charilam Assembly constituency, is the richest candidate in the State which goes to the crucial elections on February 18 next. The number of crorepati candidates has increased when compared to last Assembly elections.

Average assets of a candidate in the State stands at Rs 46.92 lakh which is unusual if one takes into consideration the State’s socio-economic condition. The State has 66 per cent of its population below the poverty line.

The top-five wealthiest candidates include Dr Autul Debbarma, BJP candidate of Krishnapur Assembly seat, Dr Dilip Kumar Das, BJP candidate of Barjala constituency, Rampada Jamatia, BJP candidate for Bagma seat, BJP nominee of Matabari seat, Biplab Kumar Ghosh and Congress candidate of Suryamaninagar Assembly constituency.

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When it comes to the educational qualification of the would be lawmakers, altogether 67 candidates have graduation degree, while 70 candidates are X standard pass and the number of XII standard pass stands at 43, said TEW’s State chapter convener Bishwendu Bhattacharjee.

A total of 22 candidates of the total contesting candidates have criminal cases pending against them and 17 nominees have declared serious criminal cases against them, he said at a press conference here on Saturday.

“Martujuddin Chowdhury, who is contesting in Bagabassa Assembly constituency, has declared case related to murder (302) against him”, he said adding that six contesting candidates are facing attempt to murder charge (307).