The southern-tip Lok Sabha constituency Kanyakumari will see a battle of crorepatis in the ensuing general elections slated for April 18 in Tamil Nadu. The three crorepatis are Congress candidate and businessman H. Vasanthakumar, outgoing MP and Union Minister Pon Radhakrishnan and Kamal Haasan-floated MNM party candidate J. Ebenezer.
Interestingly, Vasanthakumar, the promoter of consumer durable retail chain Vasanth & Co, will be the richest candidate contesting in the Lok Sabha polls in Tamil Nadu.
According to the affidavit filed with the Election Commission, for the fiscal 2017-18 Vasanthakumar has shown an income of Rs 28,93,59,990. He has also declared total assets of about Rs 412 crore — movable about Rs 230 crore and immovable about Rs 182 crore — in his name. The movable and immovable assets in his wife’s name is just over Rs 5 crore.
On the other hand, Radhakrishan has declared an annual income of Rs 7,72,850 for the fiscal 2017-18, down from Rs 14,09,490 earned in 2016-17. He has declared total assets of about Rs 7.49 crore — moveable worth Rs 50,56,298 and immovable of Rs 699,40,155.
MNM candidate Ebenezer has declared an annual income of Rs 5,31,881 for 2017-18, immovable assets of Rs 2 crore and movable assets worth Rs 36 lakh.
The two bitter political rivals — Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Congress — are in direct contest in Kanyakumari and Sivaganga seats out of the 39 Lok Sabha constituencies in Tamil Nadu. BJP’s Radhakrishnan is seeking re-election.
In 2014 Lok Sabha elections, when the entire Tamil Nadu was swept by late AIADMK leader and Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa, it was only Kanniyakumari and Dharmapuri constituencies that bucked that wave.
Pon Radhakrishnan won that election polling about 3.72 lakh votes and Vasanthakumar was the runner-up polling about 2.44 lakh votes, while the AIADMK candidate came third securing about 1.76 lakh votes. The fourth position was taken by DMK candidate who got about 1.17 lakh votes.
This time around, the BJP has tied up with the AIADMK and Congress with the DMK.