A Madhya Pradesh-based lawyer has filed a fresh complaint against Rajeev Chandrasekhar, Minister of State for Electronics, IT, Skill Development and Jal Shakti, and BJP candidate from Thiruvananthapuram. In her complaint to the Thiruvananthapuram District Election Officer, Avani Bansal has accused the Minister of ‘filing a false affidavit’.

While the scrutiny of nominations happened on Friday, the nomination was accepted. Bansal’s petition sought rejection of Chandrasekhar’s nomination.

In his affidavit submitted on April 4, 2024, Chandrasekhar declares his income for FY22 as a mere ₹680. This is when he is said to have had an income of ₹5.59 lakh in FY23 and ₹17.5 lakh in FY20. It was ₹10.83 crore in FY19. This is one of the reasons mentioned by Bansal.

Jupiter Capital

It also says the affidavit doesn’t mention anything about the minister’s involvement in the company Jupiter Capital. The company’s website lists Chandrasekhar as its founder.

According to the affidavit, the only immovable asset owned by Chandrasekhar and his family is a piece of non-agricultural land in Bengaluru. The land is 9,600 sq ft in size and has a declared value of ₹14.4 crore. Bansal’s complaint alleges that the minister doesn’t mention other properties that he owns. According to Bansal’s Twitter bio, she is the President of Congress’ Mahila Seva Dal, Madhya Pradesh.

2018 affidavit

In his affidavit, Chandrasekhar mentions that he resides in 408, II A Cross, III Block, Koramangala. Bansal’s complaint says that the minister owns this property. To support her claim, she shared the receipts of the property tax paid for this property to the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike in 2018 by a certain Rajeev Chandrasekhar. Bansal told businessline that she accessed these documents around the time when Chandrasekhar was re-elected to the Rajya Sabha in 2018. However, his 2018 affidavit too doesn’t mention that he or his wife or children own this residential property.

However, the age of the person mentioned in the receipt was 44 in 2018. Going by his affidavit, Chandrasekhar would be 53 or 54 at that time. In 2019, a Bengaluru resident Renjith Thomas moved a PIL in the Delhi High Court challenging the minister’s Rajya Sabha affidavit, saying that he didn’t disclose all his assets. This was however dismissed by the court.

While Chandrasekhar did not respond on this matter specifically, he issued a statement where he mentioned the 2019 PIL. “In 2019, petitioner Renjith Thomas submitted a writ petition (W.P. (C) No. 5895/2019) to the Honorable High Court of Delhi. In this petition, the Election Commission was made a party. The petition asserted comparable claims, alleging that the affidavit filed by Chandrasekhar before the Election Commission inadequately disclosed the entirety of his assets. The Hon’ble High Court declined to consider the petition and subsequently dismissed it,” it reads.