Chandigarh, Jan 13: Candidates contesting the forthcoming Punjab Assembly elections apparently have a penchant for expensive Sports Utility Vehicles (SUV) and high-end sedans.
According to the declaration of assets, many candidates have listed a wide range of vehicles including Toyota Fortuner, BMW, Merc, Toyota Innova, Honda CRV among other luxury brands falling in the price range of over Rs 10 lakh.
Toping the list is People's Party of Punjab (PPP) Chief Manpreet Singh Badal, estranged nephew of Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, who possess the largest fleet of eleven vehicles.
His inventory of vehicle includes Honda CRV, Toyota Fortuner, Nissan Jonga, Willys Jeep, Ford Jeep, Mahindra Jeep, Mini Truck, two tractors and two motorbikes.
He is followed by Congress candidate from Ferozepur Parminder Singh, Sugar baron and Congress candidate Rana Gurjit Singh and Shiromani Akali Dal candidate from Kapurthala Sarabjeet Singh Makkar.
Congress candidate Parminder Singh from Ferozepur has Hyundai Terracan, Hyundai Elantra, Toyota Qualis, Toyota Prado and four trucks, according to information filed by him.
Rana Gurjit Singh, who has declared total assets of over Rs 68 crore, owns a Toyota Fortuner, Honda City and one Maruti-800. Sarabjeet Singh Makkar has Toyota Innova, BMW, Toyota Fortuner and trucks, the number of which has not been detailed.
Cricketer turned politician Navjot Sidhu's wife, Navjot Kaur, a BJP candidate from Amritsar, possesses Toyota Land Cruiser, BMW-7, BMW X-6, Toyota Fortuner, Toyota Corolla and a Ambassador.
However, the couple rode bicycles to the Returning Officer's office for filing the nomination papers at Amritsar.
Another Congress candidate Rana Gurmeet Sodhi who is contesting from Guru Har Sahai has declared owning Honda Accord, Toyota Innova and Toyota Qualis.
Akali candidate and former DGP Punjab P S Gill who has filed nomination from Moga constituency owns a German brand Mercedes Benz.
Punjab is the most important market for every automobile maker as close to 500-600 vehicles including SUVs, sedans of all brands (costing above Rs 10 lakh) are sold per month across Punjab. They constitute almost 15 per cent of total car sales in Punjab, industry experts said.
Ironically, high profile candidates like Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, former Punjab CM Amarinder Singh, Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal and former Punjab Chief Minister Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, who usually travel in SUVs or top end sedans, do not possess any of these.
MoS for External Affairs and Patiala MP Preneet Kaur, wife of Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) Chief Amarinder Singh, owns a Ford Endevaour and Toyota Innova.
The chief minister and his son Sukhbir Badal, who is said to be the richest candidate for 2012 Assembly elections with personal wealth of over Rs 94 crore, have just tractors in their name.