BHUBANESWAR: Ruling BJD president and Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik is the richest among the 244 candidates contesting the assembly elections, in the 2nd phase, scheduled on April 18, a report released by Odisha Election Watch said Monday.
The Odisha Election Watch is a part of the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR). "Of the 244 candidates in the fray for the 35 assembly segments, 70 are corepatis," said Odisha Election Watch Convenor Ranjan Mohanty, adding that 13 candidates have assets worth Rs 5 crore and above, and 24 others have assets between Rs 2 crore and Rs 5 crore.
While Patnaik, who is contesting from two assembly segments, Hinjili and Bijepur, tops the list of rich candidates with total assets worth Rs 63 crore, BJP candidate K V Singhdeo contesting from Patnagarh segment in Bolangir district stands second with total assets worth Rs 37 crore, the report said.
BJD's Jharsuguda candidate, Naba Kishore Das, is in the third place with total assets worth Rs 33 crore, it said. Das is followed by BJD candidate Saroj Kumar Meher of Patnagarh seat with total assets worth Rs 31 crore.
Other rich candidates are BJP's Bijay Kumar Swain (Rs 15 cr), BJD's Arkesh Narayan Singhdeo (Rs 15 crore), BJD's Nandini Devi (Rs 11 crore), BJP's Dinesh Jain (Rs 8 cr), BJP's Pitamber Acharya (Rs 7 crore) and BJD's Kishore Kumar Mohanty (Rs 7 crore), the report added.
BSP candidate Narayan Versa contesting from Bhatli assembly segment only has Rs 8,044.
Incidentally, K V Singhdeo's wife Sangeeta Singhdeo was also on the top of the list of candidates for the Lok Sabha with assets worth Rs 37 crore. Of the 35 candidates contesting for five Lok Sabha seats in the second phase of the elections, 11 are crorepatis, he said.