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Karnataka Legislative Council Polls: Meet the Billionaire Candidate with Rs 1,744 Crore Assets


Bengaluru: He may have been a little known name in the party circles but Congress’ Yousuf Sharif has now got all the attention on him, thanks to a declared family worth of over Rs 1,000 crore, made in his poll affidavit for the December 10 Karnataka Legislative Council polls.

Sharif, a multi billionaire who was earlier into selling scrap before foraying into real estate, has declared assets belonging to him and his family worth over Rs 1,744 crore, making him arguably the richest candidate among the lot.

The 54 year-old businessman is contesting from the Bangalore Urban local authorities’ constituency, and was not much known in the party circles until his name was announced. Sharif is also known as ‘Gujari Babu’ or ‘Scrap Babu’, in an apparent reference to his stint in scrap-dealing.

A native of Kolar Gold Fields, in the affidavit filed before the Election Commission along with his nomination papers, Sharif has stated he has studied till Class V at the local government school, has two wives and five children-a daughter and four sons.

He has declared Rs 97.98 crore movable and Rs 1,643.59 crore worth immovable assets in his name. While his first wife has Rs 98.96 lakh movable and Rs 1.30 crore worth immovable assets, the second spouse has Rs 32.22 lakh worth movable assets. The rest is in the name of his children.

He has liabilities of Rs 67.24 crore. He has over Rs 16.87 crore in various bank accounts and Rs 17.61 crore as investments in bonds, debentures or shares; while his wives have Rs 16.99 lakh and Rs 20,681 respectively in their bank accounts, and investments worth Rs 1.60 lakhs and Rs 75,000.

The family has vehicles worth over Rs 3 crore that include one Rolls Royce car and two Fortuners, and jewellery, bullion or valuables worth Rs 3.85 crore.

Sharif said he has four cases pending against him at the city’s police stations, three of which he claims were based on allegations made while developing property. He has also said the Income Tax department had searched his premises earlier and concluded the assessment by levying total dues of Rs 13.43 crore, against which he has appealed before Commissioner Income Tax. It has been admitted, but hearing is yet to be held.

With a 2016 newspaper report stating Sharif was arrested by the Central Crime Branch (CCB) police for misbehaving with a woman government official in the Revenue department, the BJP in a tweet said, “what kind of a person has got Congress’ legislative council election ticket.”

It also took aim at state Congress chief D K Shivakumar for seeking to send a person “who was behind bars for misbehaving” to the “House of Elders”. Sharif was also said to be associated with the gold mining industry, by having a mill tank to purify raw gold, when KGF was operational.

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