Shimla: In what is a bizarre truth to know, about 10 of the wealthiest candidates contesting in Himachal Pradesh Assembly elections have never paid a rupee in tax.
445 candidates contesting for the elections on November 4 were analyzed for their IT declarations by the Association for Democratic Reforms, and it was found that 33% of the 445 candidates had assets valuing over a crore.
According to recent reports by ADR, 10 candidates with assets ranging between Rs 99 lakh to Rs 17.28 crore have never filled their IT returns or paid a rupee in tax. CPM’s Rakesh Singha from Theog, Vijay Jayoti independent candidate from Kasumpti and CPM’s Tikender Panwar from Shimla topping the list with total assets worth Rs 17.28 crore, Rs 7.23 crore and Rs 3.05 crore respectively, have never filed their income tax returns, the report claims.
The list of the top 10 contestants who have evaded tax is as follows:
The citizen of State will soon be exercising their right to vote, choosing their representatives to the state assembly, but the ill-fated polity in the state, which reels under the shadow of bad leadership isn’t helping them decide.
ADR’s reports have highlighted the grave reality of politics; elections have become a money game. If you have money you can win an election has become a common notion, but intelligent public will have to decide who to vote, because the ultimate decision is in their hands.
It is also worth noting that being in power, wealth of 54 MLAs re-contesting the assembly elections has grown by 172%. The highest increase recorded in assets of Anil Sharma – Congress MLA from Mandi whose net worth has increased from Rs 3.11 crore to 29.70 crore in past five years, followed by GS Bali -Congress MLA from Nagrota whose asset have increased from Rs 3.81 crore to 24.81 crore.
Not all is merry for all the candidates, net asset value of four MLAs including Khushi Ram Balnath, former BJP MLA now contesting on a Himachal Lokhit Party ticket from Kasumpati, Govind Ram, a BJP MLA from Arki, Harshwardhan Chauhan, Congress MLA from Shillai and Lakhvinder Singh, Congress MLA from Nalagarh, has fallen from the last election in 2007.