The world's largest democracy goes into its first phase of polling on Thursday. While the candidates are diverse - in terms of their parties, backgrounds, ideology, etc. - no one as diverse and yet similar as Congress' Konda Vishweshwar Reddy (KV Reddy) and Prem Janata Dal's Nalla Prem Kumar.
The similarity: Both are contesting for the Chevella seat in Telangana in Phase-1 of the Lok Sabha polls 2019.
The disparity: KV Reddy is the richest candidate in the entire Phase -1 field of candidates from 91 seats, with declared assets exceeding Rs. 895 crore as per Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) Initiative and Nalla Prem Kumar is the Candidate in Phase-1 with the least declared assets, just Rs.500.
KV Reddy is a 59-year old businessman with a bachelors in Electrical Engineering from University of Madras owning several businesses in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. He also has one case lodged against him for disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant.
Nalla Prem Kumar, meanwhile, is 47-year old, 8th pass form Andhra Open University, with no assets and no criminal records.
ADR has reported that in Phase -1 where 1285 candidates are vying for 91 Lok Sabha seats consists of 401 candidates with a declared asset of more than Rs. 1 crore or more.
The report further states that Congress has fielded more crorepati candidates with BJP following it closely. There are also 70 crorepati candidates who have not declared their income tax returns.
The average asset per candidate in the Lok Sabha Phase 1 election is Rs. 6.63 crore.
Phase-1 of Lok Sabha polls is underway in 20 states with 1285 candidates contesting 91 seats in 1,69,400 polling centres on April 11, Thursday.
The 2019 Lok Sabha Elections will be held from April 11 to May 19 in seven phases, with the counting of votes scheduled for May 23. The results of the Lok Sabha polls will also be declared on May 23.