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Homechevron_rightIndiachevron_rightFor ballot with...

For ballot with billions: the richest politicians vying for seats in Telangana

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For ballot with billions: the richest politicians vying for seats in Telangana
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Hyderabad: Industrialists and businessmen have always dominated politics in united Andhra Pradesh, and this tradition continues in Telangana state, which was created about a decade ago.

A look at the affidavits filed by candidates of various parties for Assembly elections shows that few of them own assets worth more than Rs. 100 crore, and many are worth anywhere between Rs. 50 crore to Rs. 100 crore. These are the assets declared on paper, while their real wealth may be much higher.

With family assets of more than Rs. 600 crore, Gaddam Vivekanand of the Congress party is the richest candidate in the fray for the November 30 election. Contesting from the Chennur constituency in the backward Mancherial district, he has declared movable and immovable assets of Rs. 606.66 crore.

The 66-year-old former MP, known for frequently changing parties, recently quit the BJP to return to Congress. The industrialist politician is the founder and chairman of Visaka Industries Ltd, while his wife G. Saroja is the managing director of the same company. Vivekanand, who holds an MBBS degree from Osmania University, and his wife also own agricultural and non-agricultural lands and commercial and residential buildings.

Vivekanand, who was elected to the Lok Sabha from Peddapalli in 2009 on a Congress ticket, is the son of Congress leader and former union minister late G. Venkatswamy, who was elected as MP from Peddapalli for four terms. His assets have gone up by 127 per cent since 2014 when he contested for the Lok Sabha from Peddapalli.

Ponguleti Srinivasa Reddy, also a businessman-politician belonging to the Congress party, is the second richest candidate in the fray with declared family assets of Rs. 461 crore. Ponguleti, who is contesting from the Palair constituency in Khammam district, joined Congress in July, a few months after he was suspended by the ruling party BRS for alleged anti-party activities.

Ponguleti and his wife P. Madhuri hold shares in Tanla Platform and Brightcom Group of companies. Ponguleti, who has completed 12th class, is also an agriculturist and social worker, while his wife is an entrepreneur.

He had declared assets of Rs. 34 crore in 2014 when he was elected from Khammam Lok Sabha seat on YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) ticket. He later quit the party to join Telangana Rashtra Samithi (now Bharat Rashtra Samithi).

With assets of Rs. 458 crore, Komatireddy Rajagopal Reddy of the Congress party is the third richest candidate in the fray. Rajagopal Reddy, who is contesting from Munugode constituency in Nalgonda district, declared family assets of Rs. 458.37 crore.

His net worth has gone up by more than 50 per cent since November 2022 when he contested the by-election from Munugode on a BJP ticket. He had quit Congress and resigned from his Assembly membership to join the BJP but lost the by-election to the BRS candidate. Rajagopal Reddy re-joined the Congress a few days ago and managed to secure a ticket to contest again from the same constituency.

Pailla Shekar Reddy of the ruling party BRS is the fourth richest candidate. Seeking re-election from Bhongir Assembly constituency, he has family assets of Rs. 227 crore. Medak MP K. Prabhakar Reddy, who filed the nomination as BRS candidate from Dubbak, declared assets of Rs. 197 crore.

BRS MLA Marri Janardhan Reddy, who is contesting again from Nagarkurnool, has declared assets of Rs. 112 crore. The lone BJP candidate in the Rs. 100 crore club is Nizamabad MP Dharmapuri Arvind, who is contesting from Koratla Assembly constituency. Arvind has declared total family assets of Rs. 107 crore. In 2019, he had declared assets of Rs. 87 crore. Arvind is the son of senior Congress and former minister in united Andhra Pradesh D. Srinivas.

Labour minister Malla Reddy, who owns a chain of engineering, medical, and other professional colleges and hospitals, has declared family assets of Rs. 95.93 crore. Malla Reddy, who has completed only the 12th class, is seeking re-election from the Medchal constituency on a BRS ticket.

Malla Reddy’s son-in-law Marri Rajashekar Reddy, who is contesting from Malkajgiri constituency on a BRS ticket, has declared total family assets of nearly Rs. 97 crore. Arekapudi Gandhi of BRS has declared assets of Rs. 85 crore. He is seeking re-election from the Serilingampalli constituency in Greater Hyderabad.

In 2018, he had declared assets of Rs. 55 crore. BJP MLA Eatala Rajender, who is seeking re-election from Huzurabad and has also filed a nomination from Gajwel against Chief Minister and BRS president K. Chandrasekhar Rao, has declared family assets of Rs. 70 crore. His wife Jamuna is into the poultry business.

Chief Minister Chandrasekhar Rao, who is contesting from Gajwel and Kamareddy, has family assets of Rs. 58.92 crore. In the 2018 elections, KCR had declared assets of Rs. 22 crore.

KCR’s son and minister for industry, information technology, municipal administration, and urban development K. T. Rama Rao, has declared assets of Rs. 53.27 crore. He is seeking re-election from Sircilla. He had shown his assets at Rs. 41 crore in the previous election.

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TAGS:CongressBJPTelangana governmentPolitical PartiesTelangana Assembly electionsAIMMChandrasekhar Rao
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