NEW DELHI: Not only are the candidates for the February 8 assembly polls richer than the last time around, but they are also older. From 143 candidates with assets worth Rs 1 crore or more fielded by AAP, BJP and Congress in 2015, the number has gone up to 164 in 2020 for the three parties or their allies.Complete coverage on Delhi electionsAs many as 13 candidates have declared assets of over Rs 50 crore. The four richest candidates are from AAP. At the top of the list is the party’s Mundka candidate, Dharampal Lakra, with assets worth Rs 292.1 crore, making him one of the richest ever to contest an election in Delhi. In the second position is Parmila Tokas, who will fight for the RK Puram seat. She has declared assets worth Rs 80.8 crore in her own and her family’s name. Tokas is the richest among the sitting MLAs to contest the polls.
Close on the heels of Tokas is AAP’s Badarpur candidate, Ram Singh Netaji, with total assets of Rs 80 crore. Netaji, formerly with Congress, is a two-time MLA. The fourth richest candidate — Raaj Kumar Anand — is fighting for the Patel Nagar seat. He has declared assets worth Rs 76 crore. At the fifth position is Priyanka Singh of Congress, who will be in a faceoff with Tokas and has declared assets of Rs 70.3 crore.The sixth, seventh and eighth richest candidates are all from BJP. Brahm Singh Tanwar from Chhatarpur with assets worth Rs 66.3 crore, Anil Goyal from Krishna Nagar with Rs 64.1 crore and Sat Prakash Rana from Bijwasan at Rs 57.4 crore. At the ninth and tenth positions are AAP candidates Dhanwanti Chandela from Rajouri Garden with assets worth 56.9 crore and Naresh Balyan from Uttam Nagar with Rs 56.3 crore.AAP’s Chandela has an impressive collection of jewellery. She and her family own 5.9kg gold worth Rs 2.3 crore, apart from 2kg silver worth about Rs 2 lakh.Of the 13 candidates in the Rs 50-crore+ club, AAP has six, followed by Congress at four and BJP three. At the other end are candidates with modest assets: the five poorest candidates have assets of Rs 1 lakh or less. The poorest also happens to be the youngest: Congress’ Rocky Tuseed, who was president of Delhi University Students’ Union in 2017. Tuseed is vying for the Rajendra Nagar seat and has declared assets worth Rs 55,574, which include bank deposits and cash in hand. He doesn’t own any vehicle, jewellery, land or property.Richer than Tuseed by a sum of Rs 326 is BJP’s Kondli candidate Raj Kumar Dhillon, who has declared assets worth Rs 55,900. Dhillon, who lives in a Kalyanpuri slum, is a shopkeeper by profession and doesn’t have any immovable assets. Of the declared assets, Rs 50,000 are in cash owned by Dhillon and his wife, apart from Rs 1,000 in bank and 100gm of silver.The third poorest candidate is AAP’s Rakhi Bidlan. In the 2015 assembly elections, she had declared assets worth Rs 18,000. That has now gone up to Rs 76,421, including Rs 40,000 cash in hand.The candidates are older too. The average age of AAP candidates was 43.1 years in 2015, but has now gone up to 47.3. For BJP, the number has gone up slightly from 51.7 in 2015 to 52.8. But for Congress, it has come down from 53.3 to 51.2 years.AAP has fielded 20 candidates below the age of 40, Congress 12 and BJP 6. Apart from Tuseed, Shubham Sharma (29) of Congress from Tughlaqabad and Kuldeep Kumar (30) of AAP from Kondli are in the 25-30 age group.The largest number of Congress and BJP candidates — 25 — are in the 51-60 age group, AAP has 21 candidates each in 41-50 and 51-60 brackets. The senior-most candidates are Narender Nath of Congress (75) from Shahdara, SC Vats (74) of BJP from Shakur Basti, Ram Niwas Goel (72) of AAP, again from Shahdara, and veteran Congressman Ashok Kumar Walia (71) from Krishna Nagar.