Wives economically ahead of politician husbands

Himalayan News Service

Ranchi, April 6:

The list of assets being declared by most candidates for the parliamentary elections in Jharkhand show their spouses being financially better off than the poll hopefuls. According to an Election Commission directive it is mandatory for all candidates to file details of theirs - and the spouse’s - income and assets along with nomination papers. Among those contesting the 14 Lok Sabha seats from the state are union ministers Yashwant Sinha and Karia Munda, Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) chief Shibu Soren and many former state ministers. Most of these senior politicians have declared their wives to be ‘richer’ than them.

According to external affairs minister Yashwant Sinha’s declaration, he has Rs 1,700 Indian Currency (IC) in cash, bank deposit worth Rs 978,000 IC and jointly owns a house in Noida (near New Delhi) with wife Nilima Singh worth Rs 10 million IC. He claimed his wife owns a bank bond of Rs 800,000 IC has Rs 2,600 IC in cash, bank deposit of Rs 55,142 IC and jewellery worth Rs 150,000 IC. While Sinha is again contesting for the Hazaribagh seat on the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) ticket, his colleague, minister for Non-Conventional Energy Sources Karia Munda, has once more been fielded from Khunti. Munda declared cash assets of Rs 30,000 IC fixed deposit of Rs 76,423 IC three buildings - residential and commercial - worth Rs 1 million IC, agriculture land of Rs 450,000 IC. His wife Sunanda Devi, according to his papers, possesses jewellery worth Rs 50,000 IC a bank deposit of Rs 146,000 IC and Rs 20,000 IC in cash.

Even the declaration of JMM chief Shibu Soren and others depict their wives to be richer. Former Jharkhand minister Samresh Singh has declared having Rs 50,000 IC in cash and Rs 21,000 IC as bank deposit, while his spouse has Rs 60,000 IC in cash and Rs 300,000 IC in banks. Singh is contesting from Dhanbad. His rival in the constituency, Chandra Shekhar Dubey of the Congress, has declared cash deposit of Rs 400,000 IC while saying his wife is in possession of jewellery worth Rs 500,000 IC two houses at Ranchi and Garwah worth Rs 750,000 IC each and 50 acres of land worth Rs 2.5 million IC. BJP MP Rabindra Pandey is seeking re-election for the fourth time from Giridih. He has claimed that he shares some of his assets jointly with his wife. His two apartments in New Delhi’s Greater Kailash area are worth Rs 2 million IC and Rs 1 million IC respectively, while another in the capital’s Qutub Enclave is worth Rs 600,000 IC. Pandey also owns apartments in Patna and Kolkata, a house in Ranchi, some land at Hahawar and Aurangabad (Bihar), owns vehicles - including four trucks - jointly with his wife, who has an insurance policy worth Rs 200,000 IC. Most of the spouses, who have been declared by politicians as having assets higher than theirs, are ‘housewives’ — not engaged in any profession or earning profit from an occupation.