Times have changed. They no longer have palanquin bearers bowing down for their command to take them around the city for a stroll. The throne has no power like it did in the bygone era. Nevertheless, the (erstwhile) royals are wealthy and seek power.

In the third phase of the General Election on May 7, 1,352 candidates are contesting across constituencies. businessline looked at the profiles of the five richest people among them. Three of these five people are members of erstwhile royal families. They are Union Minister of Civil Aviation and Steel Jyotiraditya Scindia, Chhatrapati Shivaji’s descendants Chhatrapati Shahu Shahaji and Shrimant Chh Udayanraje Pratapsinhamaharaj Bhonsle. The declared assets of each of them are more than ₹200 crore and a lot of it is inherited. But who is the richest of the phase-III candidates?

Wealthy candidates

That honour goes to Pallavi Shrinivas Dempo, a greenhorn. She is the BJP’s South Goa candidate and has assets worth ₹1,361 crore. Dempo is also the BJP’s first woman Lok Sabha candidate in Goa. She is the wife of Shrinivas Dempo, the chairman of Dempo Group of Companies. The shares in the company Dempo Holdings, worth ₹344.25 crore, are the couple’s most-valuable declared asset, according to her affidavit.

Scindia, the candidate from Madhya Pradesh’s Guna, is the second on the list. While contesting the elections in 2019, Scindia had assets worth ₹374.56 crore, which has now risen to ₹424 crore. He is the grandson of Jiwajirao Scindia, the last ruler of the princely State of Gwalior during the British Raj in India. For him, the most valuable asset is a piece of agricultural land owned by his Hindu Undivided Family. 

The third in the list is Chhatrapati Shivaji’s descendant Chhatrapati Shahu Shahaji or Shahu II of Kolhapur, the Congress candidate from Kolhapur. He owns assets worth ₹342 crore and that includes ₹87.2 crore-worth shares in a company KSF Pvt Ltd.

Karnataka Minister of Mines & Geology and Horticulture SS Mallikarjun’s wife Prabha Mallikarjun is next on the list. A Congress candidate from Davanagere, she is a newbie to electoral politics and the couple’s declared assets are worth ₹240 crore. This is almost ₹100 crore more than how much they owned in 2018, based on SS Mallikarjun’s older affidavit. Their most expensive asset is land in Davanagere worth ₹86 crore.

Udayanraje Pratapsinhamaharaj Bhonsle, the 17th holder of the title of Chhatrapati, is next on the list, with declared assets worth ₹223 crore. This Rajya Sabha MP is the BJP candidate from Maharashtra’s Satara. Between 2019 and 2024, his assets grew 12 per cent. For him too, the most-expensive asset is a piece of land, worth ₹91.84 crore.

The other rich candidates include BJP’s Madha MP Ranjit Naik-Nimbalkar, Samajwadi Party’s Bareilly candidate Praveen Singh Aron and NCP leader Supriya Sule, who is contesting from Maharashtra’s Baramati.