Who Is Baramulla’s Richest Candidate In Lok Sabha Polls?

by Masood Hussain

SRINAGAR: The self-attested and voluntary affidavit that Election Commission of India has made mandatory for every candidate in the assembly and Lok Sabha elections offer some idea about who the candidates are. The affidavits detail contestants’ immovable and movable assets and some basic information about them.

Post-demonetization, the political parties ensure that they field candidates who have the personal strength to manage the costs as the elections have become very expensive. But that might be not the case for Kashmir where elections are security sensitive and may require less money even in comparison to Jammu and Ladakh.

Baramulla constituency goes to polls in the first phase on April 11. It has 15 assembly segments and spans over three districts – Kupwara, Bandipore and Baramulla. In the last Lok Sabha, PDP leader Muzaffar Hussain Beig represented it. His performance was termed to be lowest, both in attendance in contribution.

Mohammad Akbar Lone (NC)

Of the nine candidates in fray for the Baramulla LS constituency, it is NC’s Mohammad Akbar Lone who is the oldest politician. A many time MLA, Lone was Speaker of the assembly till 2014.

Basically a resident of Naid Kahie village in Bandipora district, Lone has multiple houses; He usually lives in Humhama in the Friends’ Colony, outside the Srinagar airport.

In his formal declaration, Lone has said that his immovable assets are Rs 7.84 lakh and his wife owns golden jewellery worth Rs 6.5 lakh. Interestingly, he does not own a motor car.

Lone has inherited 95 kanals and 20 marals of land in Naid Khaie. Later in 1995, he purchased 20 kanals. So the total market value of his entire landed estate is Rs 7.50 crore.

In Humhama, he says he has acquired nine marlas of land for Rs 30 lakhs, which now has a market value of Rs 50 lakh! He has a house at Naid Khaie and also half of the house at Chani Ramma in Jammu. The Jammu House values Rs 2 crore.

What is interesting is that Lone in his declaring has stated that his total immovable assets are worth Rs 59.60 crore but the details do not justify that. His liabilities are a bank loan of Rs 1.04 lakh. His wife is a housewife.

Raja Aijaz Ali (PC)

Seemingly, it is Raja Aijaz Ali, who is the liquid of all his competitors. A resident of Pehlipora in Uri’s Boniyar belt, Raja Aijaz retired as Inspector General in Jammu and Kashmir Police and joined politics. He was with PDP, a party he deserted and joined the Peoples’ Conference that gave him mandate for the north Kashmir Baramulla constituency.

Raja’s wife has retired as a Zonal Education Officer in the state’s education department.

In his declaration of assets, Raja has stated that immovable assets are at Rs 11075300 as his wife’s liquid assets are at Rs 7994187. These include his investment of Rs 40 lakh in Itifaq Packaging Private Ltd and a payment of Rs 60 lakh that the couple made to al-Amin Charitable Trust. He drives an Rs 13 lakh Hyundai.

Raja and his wife own 7.64 acres of land at Pehlipora, Chinad and Shalteng of which they have purchased 40 kanals. Its current valuation is Rs 8.03 crore, according to the affidavit.

In Brein , Nishat, in the city outskirts, they have nine marlas of land valuing Rs 43.6 lakh. His wife owns 30 marlas of land in Sidhra Jammu which values Rs 3.06 crore now. It was acquired in 1993.

They have a home at Pehlipra and another one at Kral Sanghri in Nishat. Besides, they have a flat at Kedrya Vihar in Gurgoan and another flat in Channi, Jammu’s Sweet Apartments. The declaration said that excepting the flat at Gurgoan, every other place is inherited. They have put the value of these residential spaces at Rs 3.8 crore for Raja and Rs 18.08 lakh for his wife.

So the total immovable assets of Raja Aijaz are at Rs 125365000 and that of his wife at Rs 32434000. Raja has a liability – a bank loan, of Rs 848606. So, given by the declaration Raja has made, the couple is the richest couple. Raja has total assets of Rs 13.64 crore and his wife is worth Rs 4.04 crore – cumulatively they are around Rs 18 crore.

Abdul Qayoom Wani (PDP)

Abdul Qayoom Wani, whom the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) fielded from Baramulla, is a resident of Ussan village in Karhama belt of Tangmarg. He was a school teacher and led the teachers association for many years. Recently, in the run-up to the Lok Sabha polls, he quit the job, joined the PDP and got the mandate from Baramulla.

In his declaration that is part of his nomination papers, Wani has said that his total movable assets including cash and bank deposits are Rs 1012696 of which Rs 60000 were in hand when he filed the papers. His wife had Rs 854854. The couples’ two dependents – their children, had Rs 164107 and Rs 174096, respectively. Wani’s movable assets included his Rs 8.20 lakh worth car and an old bicycle.

Wani has 1.3 kanals of land at Ussan that value Rs 35 lakh and has acquired two marlas in Seheora (Jammu) for Rs 3.51 lakh for his wife. At Ussan, he has two buildings which value Rs 1.05 crore. So his total immovable property values Rs 1.40 crore in his name and Rs 3.51 lakh in his wife’s name. Besides, his liabilities are Rs 4.73 lakh, a bank loan. His wife is also a teacher.

Engineer Rashid (KL Image: Bilal Bahadur)

Engineer Rasheed, a two-time lawmaker representing the Langate constituency in the state assembly, does not own an asset at all. As per the declaration he has made in his papers, his only asset is the recently acquired 3000 sq ft piece of land at Jawahar Nagar on which is a built-up area of 1400 sq ft. He has stated that it’s market value is Rs 80 lakh against which he has raised a bank loan of Rs 60 lakh.

Farooq A Mir (Congress)

Congress has fielded Haji Farooq Ahmad Mir, a resident of Khurhama in Lolab. He earlier contested for assembly and lost. Haji has put his movable assets at Rs 1097435 which includes a Scorpio as his wife has Rs 2.20 lakh. His wife owns land worth 22 lakh and Mir personally Rs 7.50 lakh. His total immovable assets are Rs 92 lakh and that of his wife are Rs 22 lakh.

Javed Qureshi, a resident of Narbaba Hangah in Handwara’s Batagund belt is a businessman. He has declared his assets at six lakh rupees including a vehicle and that of his wife at Rs 60,000. He does not own anything beyond that.

Jehangir Khan, a resident of Nandi Bala in Karnah lacks any immovable asset. His movable assets are Rs 1.95 lakh and his wife has Rs 20,000. Panthers Party has fielded him.

Mohammad Maqbool War (BJP)

BJP has fielded Mohammad Maqbool War, a resident of Rohama in Rafiabad. He has Rs 1.20 lakh and some land. His immovable assets are worth one crore that includes his home and the land that he owns.

The ninth candidate is Syed Najeeb Shah Naqvi, a resident of Kamalkote in Uri. His movable assets are worth Rs 1529287 which includes two cars – a Honda City and a Scorpio. His wife owns gold woreth Rs 15.21 lakh. His laded estate is worth Rs 40 lakh. He has a house in Kamalkote and Harwan in Srinagar as well – both valuing Rs 70 lakh. His wife owns a petrol pump for which she availed a cash credit of Rs 1.65 crore. Of this Rs 67 lakh is outstanding. He has said his wife is a business women and he himself is a political activist.

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