Chennai: At a time when many Lok Sabha candidates are coming out with eye-popping details of their assets worth crores, 14 candidates in the poll fray in Tamil Nadu, mostly independents, have declared 'zero assets'.
There are 845 candidates of well-established political entities, among whom are 14 contestants with high liabilities of more than Rs. five crore, as per an analysis by Association for Democratic Reforms-Tamil Nadu Election Watch.
12 independents, including S Rajeshwari (Chennai south), Balan P P (Nilgiris) and Pargunan A (Kancheepuram) have nil assets, candidates of little known CPI(ML) Red Star (Ponnusamy P) and Akhil Bharat Hindu Mahasabha (Ezhumalai V) have also declared zero assets in Nilgiris and Chidambaram.
Of the 14 candidates with high liabilities of more than Rs. five crore, H Vasantha Kumar (Congress) in Kanyakumari figures first with a debt of Rs. 87 crore. Ironically, he is also the candidate with highest assets of Rs. 285 crore.
Similarly, A C Shanmugam of Puthiya Neethi Katchi who owns property worth Rs. 106 crore and is contesting on BJP's lotus symbol in Vellore, has a liability of Rs. 34 crore.
Also, there are nine candidates with high income of Rs. one crore, according to Income Tax return details provided by the candidates, the association said.
While Vasantha Kumar has shown total income (Self, spouse and dependent) of Rs. 16 crore, Thambidurai M (AIADMK) has shown an income of Rs. 10 crore and Karti P Chidambaram has shown an income of Rs. one crore.