IT czar Nandan Nilekani is the Richie Rich of Indian politics

| | Bangalore
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IT czar Nandan Nilekani is the Richie Rich of Indian politics

Friday, 21 March 2014 | Kestur Vasuki | Bangalore

Has declared assets worth Rs 7,700-crore before filing lS nomination today

This is one jaw-dropping information that will force you to sit up and take notice. Congress candidate from Bangalore South and IT czar Nandan Nilekani has assets worth a whopping Rs 7,700-crore making him, perhaps, the richest candidate ever to contest an election in India’s electoral history.  And all his wealth, in his own words, is “transparent and legal.”

A day before filing his nominations on Friday, a Press release issued in Bangalore on Thursday by Nandan’s media team quoted him as pegging his and his wife’s joint income at a staggering Rs 7,700-crore.

“I started out with Rs 200 in my pocket, when I graduated from IIT. We founded Infosys with Rs 10,000. Today, because of the success of a company built from scratch, Nandan and Rohini have assets of Rs 7,700-crore.

Most of our wealth, almost 80 per cent remains in Infosys shares,” Nandan, the flag bearer of the ambitious Aadhar project, said. Nandan still owns 1.45 per cent while Rohini 1.3 per cent of Infosys.

“This wealth was created while Infosys brought lakhs of jobs to Bangalore. The company also shared a lot of wealth with its employees through ESOPs (Employee Stock Ownership Plan),” Nandan said in his statement.

“The biggest thing the money from Infosys brought me is the freedom to do what I want. And what I want, is to give millions more the opportunities I had,” Nandan, who headed UIDAI and was in the rank of a Cabinet Minister, said.

According to release, Nandan believes the Infosys story inspired a generation of young Indians to start something on their own, to take risks that created wealth for the country, as-well-as millions of new jobs.

Since 1999, Rohini and Nandan have donated almost Rs 400-crore of their wealth to various causes and charities, the release said.

For her part, his wife Rohini said: “I have worked in the social sector for more than 15 years now and when I came into some money through the sale of Infosys shares, I was able to spend more on my philanthropy.”

The couple has prioritized some key areas in their philanthropy - water, governance and education.

“I am proud of the fact that my wealth is completely transparent. I haven’t made any of my money illegally, or hid it in investments outside the country. Nothing is hidden in someone else’s bank account. It is all completely transparent, and tax-paid,” he said.

The Crorepati club

Rajya Sabha MPs

Ravindra Kishore Sinha (BJP) from Bihar                Rs 857.11 crore

Mahendra Prasad (JDU) from Bihar         Rs 683 crore

Vijay Mallya (Ind) from Karnataka            Rs 615 crore

Jaya Bachchan (SP) from Uttar Pradesh Rs 493 crore

Kakde Sanjay Dattatraya (Ind) from Maharashtra              Rs 425.65 crore

lok Sabha MPs

Jagan Mohan Reddy (YSR Congress) from AP      Rs 445 crore

l Rajagopal (Cong) from AP                                             Rs 299 crore

Assemblies

Vimla Jindal (lost in Rajasthan polls)        Rs 2,762 crore

Kamini Jindal (won Rajasthan polls)         Rs 197 crore

Kanwar Singh Tanwar (lost lS polls 2009)               Rs 154 crore