Jugal Kishore Sharma, the Bhartiya Janta Party Member of Parliament from Jammu-Poonch Lok Sabha, is seeking re-election in 2019 in a straight contest with Congress candidate Raman Bhalla even as there are 22 other candidates, including party rebel Chowdhary Lal Singh, in the fray.
Kishore’s journey in one of an ordinary politician, but his financial profile will leave you baffled. Jugal Kishore came to be known in the public in 2002 as lone member of BJP in the Legislative Assembly elected from Nagrota constituency, in the outskirts of capital city Jammu, that year. He retained the constituency in 2008 elections as well
In 2014, the BJP fielded Jugal Kishore Sharma in the Jammu-Poonch Lok Sabha constituency in which he registered a comfortable majority over the Congress candidate Madan Lal Sharma who was holding the seat since 2004. Once again, Jugal is the BJP nominee for 2019 Lok Sabha elections and this time he is locked in a straight contest with Raman Bhalla of Congress.
The story of Jugal Kishore -so far, so good! It is an ordinary journey in the Indian politics with a key feature that luck has favoured this man all along. There is one little detail about Jugal Kishore that leaves you baffled -an astronomical rise in his financial liabilities in last five years even as the growth in his assets have nothing to surprise you.
Identifying himself as politician and businessman and his wife as business-woman, the matric pass Jugal Kishore Sharma told election authorities in 2014 that he owned total assets of Rs 2.6 Crore and had liabilities of as little as Rs 2.5 lakhs. Such an asset-liability profile is a normal financial profile of millions in India.
Come 2019 and Jugal has a shock for you. His assets have grown steadily from Rs 2.6 Crore in 2014 to Rs 5.6 Crore in 2019 but his liabilities have ripped the skies.
In his recent filing with the election authorities, Jugal has confirmed that he owed Rs 35 Crore to banks in shape of loans. Jugal’s total liabilities in 2014 were Rs 2.5 Lakhs which have grown by 139900% in 2019. This liability is in shape of Rs 34 Crore + loan from the J&K Bank.
A careful examination of Jugal’s papers filed before the election authorities doesn’t show how he has spent Rs 35 Crore in five years. There is no corresponding increase in Jugal’s businesses and investments, or overall investment profile, over the last five years to show spending of Rs 35 Crore. So, where has the Bank’s money gone?
The value Jugal’s total assets grew from Rs 89 Lakhs in 2008 to 2.68 Crore in 2014 and 5.6 Crore in 2019. This growth doesn’t show use of Rs 35 Crore which he took as bank loan.
Sources say that Jugal’s loan account of Rs 35 Crore has already been declared as Non Performing Asset (NPA) by J&K Bank for which the MP applied for One Time Settlement (OTS) and got it resolved as recently as in March to escape legal action.