'My Only Income Is My Minister's Salary', says Rajeev Chandrasekhar, Whose Taxable Income Was Rs680 in FY21-22
Moneylife Digital Team 08 April 2024
Union minister of state for electronics and information technology and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)'s Thiruvananthapuram Lok Sabha seat candidate Rajeev Chandrasekhar is mired in controversy over the Rs680 taxable income for the financial year (FY)21-22 shown in his election affidavit. After the United Democratic Front (UDF) made allegations, the Left Democratic Front (LDF) also petitioned the Election Commission of India (ECI), alleging Mr Chandrasekhar misrepresented information about his income and assets in the poll affidavit. 
 
According to a report from The Hindu Business Line, in his affidavit submitted on 4 April 2024, Mr Chandrasekhar has declared his taxable income for FY21-22 as a mere Rs680. "This is when he is said to have had an income of Rs5.59 lakh in FY22-23 and Rs17.5 lakh in FY19-20. It was Rs10.83 crore in FY18-19."
 
In response to our query, Mr Chandrashekar told us in a message, "My only income is my minister's salary". Asked about whether ministers are not allowed to own shares, he says, 'You can have shares, but shares are not same as income unless you sell it' (quote edited to expand shortened words). 
 
When asked about income from interest on investments, deposits, bonds or returns from mutual funds, dividends and rentals, his short answer was, "no".
 
The response is interesting because Mr Chandrashekar was one of the wealthiest industrialists in the country.
 
The LDF has accused Mr Chandrasekhar of withholding details of his major holding company, Jupiter Capital, while only declaring the subsidiary companies. This, the Front claims, is an attempt "to hide the complex web of companies used to hide his true assets," says a report from The Hindu.
 
Insisting that he has served a public life devoid of blemish for 18 years, Mr Chandrasekhar told media persons that he has been submitting disclosures in the Rajya Sabha during the period. "All my disclosures are compliant with the law," he maintained. 
 
In his affidavit submitted to the ECI, Mr Chandrasekhar had shown Rs52,000 in cash and movable assets worth Rs9.26 crore. He also has Rs10.38 crore in bank deposits, negative assets of Rs45.7 crore in bonds, Rs2,500 in the National Savings Certificate (NSC), Rs41.2 crore in personal loans, a scooter valued at Rs10,000, jewellery worth Rs 3.35 lakh, and other assets worth Rs5 lakh. He declared assets worth Rs12.47 crore owned by his wife, Anju Chandrasekhar.
 
According to a report from Live Mint, in his 2024 affidavit, Mr Chandrasekhar has declared a taxable income of Rs680 for FY21-22, the post-COVID-19 year. His wife Anju's taxable income in the same fiscal year was Rs18.7 lakh. 
 
"(Mr) Chandrasekhar's taxable income has sharply declined from Rs10.83 crore in FY18-19 to nearly Rs5.59 lakh in FY22-23, according to his affidavit," the report says.  
 
Kerala goes to the polls on 26 April 2024 to elect 20 members to the Lok Sabha.
Comments
tlrchandran49
1 month ago
HAS HE TAKEN INTO ACCOUNT THE HUMUNGUS PERKS ENJOYED BY MEMBERS OF PARLIAMENT
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