JAIPUR: Democracy is a great leveller. Despite the divide between the rich and poor in the society, elections provide an opportunity to the less privileged to take on their financially mightier counterparts.
This is evident in Jajpur where Pranab Kumar Balabantray, the BJD candidate for Dharmasala Assembly segment, is the wealthiest of the 61 candidates across the Parliamentary constituency and its seven Assembly seats, while SUCI nominee Madhumita Sahu from the same seat is the poorest.
Pranab has declared assets worth `17.24 crore in his poll affidavit and Madhumita has `23,000 including bank deposits. The BJD nominee has been on a hi-tech campaign to woo voters but Madhumita along with a few party workers depends on modest bi-cycles.
Pranab has declared movable assets worth `9.73 crore in form of cash, shares in listed and unlisted companies, bank deposits, investments, gold jewellery and others. Besides, he possesses immovable assets worth `3.5 crore and his spouse has assets to the tune of `1.42 crore and immovable assets worth `3.5 crore.
This is not a deterrent for Madhumita who says she is fighting the electoral battle with the love and blessings of people. “I have nothing and the people are my strength. I am fighting the polls with their love and blessings,” she said.
The elections for seven Assembly constituencies and the lone parliamentary reserved seat of the district will go for the polls in the fourth phase on April 29.