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31 crorepatis in fray in Nagaland election
February 27, 2008 14:49 IST
There are 31 'crorepatis' contesting in the Nagaland assembly election.
In a state, where there is no industry worth naming and no economy other than government offices, the number of crorepatis is surprisingly high.
According to the information provided by Nagaland's Chief Electoral Officer, C J Pomraj, asset details of 217 candidates are available with them and topping the list is S I Jamir, brother of former Chief Minister S C Jamir.
Candidates from the Nagaland People's Front are leaders of the 'crorepati gang'. They have 13 crorepatis while the Congress has eight in this highly exclusive list.
Jamir has cash and properties worth little over Rs 30 crore in his name, including agricultural land worth Rs 25 crore and buildings worth Rs 5 crore. He has a modest bank deposit of Rs 40,000.
He is not alone on the top. Chief ministerial aspirant from Congress, K L Chisi, is also not far behind. He has assets worth Rs 18 crore. He does not have any residential property and just Rs 21,000 in the bank, but his non residential property is worth Rs 13.16 crore besides agricultural land of Rs 5 crore.
In comparison, the just-ousted chief minister, Neiphu Rio, has properties worth Rs 4.27 crore. His agricultural land is valued at Rs 1 crore while his residential properties are valued at a staggering Rs 3.27 crore.
As far as the residential properties are concerned Rio is on third spot. The list is headed by another candidate, Tokhebo, who has residential property worth Rs 6 crore.
Rio's main challenger and chief ministerial aspirant from Congress, I Imkong, is not far behind either. He has Rs 5 lakh in cash, another Rs 7.22 lakh in bank deposit and agricultural land worth Rs 4.55 crore. However, his asset list does not end here. His non agricultural land is worth Rs 3.10 crore, but his residential property is only worth Rs 44 lakh.
Notably, an average Naga house cost just over Rs 2 lakh in urban areas and below Rs 50,000 in rural areas.
The list gets more interesting when the bank deposits are observed. Nagas are traditionally averse to banking instruments and they do not deposit their money there. Hence out of the 31 crorepatis, only 11 of them have more than a lakh of rupees in the banks.
The highest deposit in the bank is Rs 70 lakh by Kheikho Zhimoni, who surprisingly also has Rs 50,000 in cash and a house worth Rs 87 lakh. But most of the candidates have a very modest amount in the bank.
It is quite evident that Nagas believe in property and agricultural land and they invest heavily in these two areas. There is no income tax in Nagaland and none of these crorepatis have to pay any such tax as special laws are effective in the state.