Kanyakumari and Sivaganga constituencies in Tamil Nadu are where one can expect a close and direct contest between candidates of the national parties BJP and Congress, in a state where the majority of seats are swept by the Dravidian parties. In Kanyakumari, incumbent BJP MP Pon. Radhakrishnan would be taking on H.Vasantha Kumar of the Congress, whereas it would be H.Raja (BJP) versus Karti Chidambaram of Congress in Sivaganga.
However, there is a stark contrast that appears on scrutinizing the affidavits that the candidates have filed along with their nominations. Vasantha Kumar, the Congress candidate has declared movable assets worth Rs. 230,20,95,302, whereas the immovable assets are valued at Rs. 182,25,00,000. Thus taking the total value of his assets to Rs. 412,45,95,302. he has also declared liabilities amounting to 154,75,11,439.
Vasanthakumar is a sitting MLA in the Tamil Nadu assembly and is a promoter of a very popular chain of consumer electronics, appliances and also a TV channel. When comparing the amount shown in his income tax returns between 2013-14 and 2017-18, it is Rs.19,87,47,960 and Rs.28,93,59,990. This is an increase of about 45%.
BJP candidate Pon. Radhakrishnan has declared moveable assets of Rs.50,56,298 and inherited assets of Rs. 6,99,40,155, while there are no liabilities mentioned. Regarding the income he has shown under the income tax returns, there is a drop from Rs. 9,67,009 (2013-14) to Rs. 7,72,850 (2017-18), while it had risen to Rs. 15,03,610 during 2015-16.
The candidate for Kamal Haasan’s Makkal Needhi Maiam in Kanyakumari is J.Ebenezer. The candidate who would be representing the party that is making its electoral debut has declared movable assets of Rs. 40,96,628 and immovable assets of Rs. 2,00,00,000. Under the liabilities section, the candidate has declared Rs.46,64,663. His income has gone from Rs. 5,41,928 in 2013-14 to Rs, 5,31,881 in 2017-18.
In the case of Karti Chidambaram, son of former Finance Minister P.Chidambaram who is contesting from Sivaganga, the total movable assets are declared as Rs. 24,13,73,168 and the immovable assets are declared at Rs. 22,88,89,303, whereas the liabilities are declared as Rs. 8,97,44,503.
H.Raja from the BJP, who would be taking on Karti in Sivaganga has declared his movable assets as Rs. 50,97,544, immovable assets as Rs. 77,90,000, and also liabilities as Nil.
The candidates in Kanyakumari from the major national parties and also the candidate who would be representing the debutant party Makkal Needhi Maiam are ‘crorepatis’, having declared assets that run over a crore. However, as far as the assets, liabilities declaration goes, the Congress candidate has far outnumbered his fellow contestants.
Tamil Nadu goes to the polls on April 18, in the second phase of what would be a seven-phase poll. The ruling party in the state, the AIADMK has allied with the BJP,PMK,DMDK and other smaller outfits while the DMK which is the major opposition party in the State seemly has alliances with the Congress, Left parties and other smaller outfits.