Lucknow/New Delhi: The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) has every right to have billionaires in its fold, like the other political parties, said a party functionary on Friday defending the Rs 604 crore (Rs.6.04 billion) assets declared by a BSP candidate for a Delhi Lok Sabha seat.
"Do you mean to say that only the Congress, Samajwadi Party and the BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) have the right to have billionaires in their party? The BSP is fighting for the cause of the downtrodden, but it doesn't mean that it is a party of poverty-ridden people," said a senior party functionary in Lucknow, declining to be named.
"Everyone in the party is not expected to be a very poor person," he added.
MONEY POWER: BSP has no cash-crunch, many of its candidates too have assets running into crores.
He was reacting to the BSP's West Delhi candidate Deepak Bhardwaj having emerged as the country's richest candidate in the Lok Sabha 2009 elections with assets worth over Rs 600 crore (Rs 6 billion).
Bhardwaj, who owns a fleet of cars, but went to file his nomination papers Thursday riding an old tractor, has overtaken Independent candidate from Gujarat's Surendranagar seat, Khimji Patadia, who has assets worth Rs 514.57 crore.
Bhardwaj is making his debut this elections. He has overshadowed his own partyman Kanwar Singh Tanwar, BSP candidate from south Delhi, who has assets worth Rs 1.55 billion.