This Article is From Mar 22, 2014

Nandan Nilekani's journey from Rs 200 to Rs 7,700 crores

Bangalore: With nearly Rs 8,000 crore worth declared assets, former Aadhar Chairman Nandan Nilekani may be the richest candidate so far this election.

The cofounder of Infosys who is fighting his maiden election from the high-profile constituency of Bangalore South says his wealth is his resume and not the assets.

He turned down a plush job offer after graduating from Indian Institute of Technology, Mumbai, in 1978 with just Rs 200 in his pocket. Mr Nilekani and his family today have assets worth nearly Rs 8,000 crore.

The Congress candidate from Bangalore South filed his nomination papers which put his assets at Rs 7,700 crore and counting, including a resort-like sprawling house in Bangalore's prime Koramangala area and several luxury cars.

"I am not in politics to make more money. I am here for change, to bring about a change. I made my money in an honest way. And I have declared it all. By co-founding Infosys along with Mr Murthy and others, I earned financially. And now I am here to bring about change and politics is that lever for change," said Mr Nilekani.

Much of his wealth is in the form of shares in the IT firm Infosys which he cofounded in 1981. He and his wife Rohini Nilekani together hold close to three per cent shares of the IT giant.

The arguably richest MP candidate so far took a dig at his opponents and several others in politics, who are reluctant to declare assets in full. His opponent in the constituency - five-time MP Ananth Kumar, for instance, has declared assets worth less than Rs 15 lakh, including one Reva electric car on his name.

"My transactions are above board, I do not have money deposited in others accounts and have transparently declared all assets. My real wealth is however my experience as cofounder of Infosys and as Aadhar Chairman which gave away 60,000 crore identity cards to people of India as promised. This experience is what will work in my favour and I am very confident of winning Bangalore South because people and voters here want change and want a clean person," Mr Nilekani added.