The Nagaland Assembly elections will pit the rich against each other in most of the state’s electoral battlegrounds, while the total number of candidates, who cross that threshold is 100 out of the 195 (51.2%) from 60 Assembly Constituencies. This is an increase of 4.4 percent, as in the 2013 Nagaland polls, the number of crorepati runners comprised 46.8% of the total candidates.
According to affidavits submitted with nomination papers by the candidates themselves to the Election Commission of India, as part of their nomination filings, a little over half of them have assets that cross the often used threshold of the ‘crorepati.’ The richest among the candidates is former Chief Minister K L Chishi, who is contesting from Atoizu Asembly Constituency (A/C) under Zunheboto district in BJP ticket, is the richest with a declared total asset of Rs 38, 16, 68,455. The veteran politician and former Chief Minister, who is now contesting on a BJP ticket, declared movable assets worth Rs 1, 71, 68,455; and immovable assets worth Rs 36, 45, 00,000. In the affidavit, his income is generated through agricultural farming and rubber plantation. Since the last election, Chishi’s worth has decreased by over Rs 11 Crores, as his affidavit from the 2013 elections showed assets amounting to Rs 50.19 Crores.
Chishi is followed by the Chief ministerial candidate of the Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP) Neiphiu Rio with a total declared asset of Rs 28, 14, 75, 867. His movable assets total to Rs 10, 23, 29, 867; which includes a Land Cruiser Prado and a BMW Mini F56 Cooper. In addition, the MP, who was last week elected unopposed to the 10 Northern Angami II A/C, has immovable assets declared at Rs 17, 91, 46, 000. Rio’s income source, according to the affidavit, include his salary and allowance as an MP, rental income, interest income and agriculture income. Rio’s worth has also taken a hit, as per his affidavits, going down by about Rs 1.8 Crores from his 2013 asset value of Rs 30.07 Crores.
One that sticks out is incumbent Chief Minister, TR Zeliang, whose affidavit declares a total worth of Rs 3, 18, 84,855. This includes movable assets worth Rs 1, 23, 54, 855; and immovable assets worth Rs 1, 93, 30,000. The Chief Minister’s affidavit also shows that he has no cars in his name. Former Rural Development Minister, C L John, while having assets worth Rs 14, 30,03,914, has only a Maruti Car valued at Rs 2, 50,000 to his name. While the number of crorepatis in Nagaland’s election fray seems substantial, there are quite a few prominent absentees from the rich list. One is Nagaland Health and Family Welfare Minister and another veteran legislator, Imkong L Imchen, whose total assets are worth only Rs 98,81,750. He also has no cars under his name. Former Nagaland Cabinet Ministers, who have no cars seem to abound, as former Home Minister; Y Patton also had no cars under his name as per his election affidavit. He is also not a crorepati, with assets worth only Rs 99,39,650, just Rs 60,000 shy of that magic number. Adding to the list of humble legislators are examples like former Speaker of the Nagaland Legislative Assembly (NLA) and Social Welfare Advisor, Chotisuh Sazo whose total assets come to only Rs 69,20,000; Parliamentary Secretary for CAWD & Taxes, Benjongliba who is worth Rs 89,05,862; and former RD Minister and Advisor, Planning and Coordination, E. E. Pangteang worth Rs 60,55,696.
Meanwhile, of the 100 crorepatis, there are 13 candidates who have assets crossing the Rs 10 crore marks. In terms of parties, the incumbent Naga People’s Front (NPF), which has ruled the state for the last 15 years, leaves the competition in the dust when it comes to the number of crorepati candidates. The NPF has 41, followed by the NDPP at 22. The AAP and the LJP have none. The party wise crorepaties NPF 41, NDPP 22, BJP 9, INC 6, NPP 9, NCP 1, JD (U) 6, AAP nil, LJP 9, Independent 6. District wise crorerpati, Mokokchung 16, Kohima 15, Zunheboto 12, Dimapur 11, Tuensang 11, Wokha 10, Mon 9, Phek 8, Peren 3, Kiphire 2, Pughotoboto (Election district) 2 and Longleng 1, the affidavits said.
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