Deepak Bharadwaj, who was murdered in his Delhi farmhouse on Tuesday, was the richest candidate to contest the 2009 Lok Sabha elections with total declared assets of nearly Rs 619 crore. He fought on a Bahujan Samaj Party ticket from West Delhi.

Mr. Bharadwaj’s entry into the political arena had surprised many. “He had never contested an election before. So his throwing his hat into the ring surprised us. We had known him as a businessman who dealt primarily in real estate. It was assumed that he may have had some business interests and was planning to construct some residential townships because of which he went to the BSP,’’ said a senior politician who contested against him.

Mr. Bharadwaj lost his security deposit despite polling 36,089 votes as he got only 4.09 per cent of the total votes. Mahabal Mishra of the Congress, who won, polled nearly 4.80 lakh votes. Jagdish Mukhi of the BJP came second with a little over 3.50 lakh votes.

After the polls, Mr. Bharadwaj quit from active politics. “I remember meeting him once thereafter and he spoke about launching a residential project in Hardwar. People in Delhi know him better as the owner of Nishant Hotel on Jaipur Road and the owner of Shiksha Bharati School in Sector 7 of Dwarka,’’ said another politician.

Out of his declared assets, a major component comprised agricultural land whose worth he disclosed at over Rs. 368 crore in his own name and Rs. 100 crore in his wife Ramesh Kumari Bharadwaj’s name. He disclosed buildings worth Rs. 28.75 crore in his name and Rs. 4.78 crore in his wife’s name and houses and apartments worth Rs 42.93 crore in his own name. He had also shown “other assets’’ worth Rs 23.58 crore in his name and Rs 8.56 crore in his wife’s name; and non agricultural land worth Rs 6.13 crore in his name.

The rest of the assets included deposits in banks; bonds, debentures and shares; investments in financial institutions, vehicles and jewellery. In his affidavit, he had disclosed that while five cases were pending against him in which cognisance had been taken by the court, he was not convicted.

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