44% Lok Sabha candidates in Odisha's third phase are crorepatis

At least 28 candidates have assets worth more than Rs 1 crore.
The average assets per candidate in the round is Rs 11.8 crore.
The average assets per candidate in the round is Rs 11.8 crore.Express illustrations

BHUBANESWAR: Fourty-four percent of the candidates contesting the Lok Sabha polls in the third phase in Odisha are crorepatis and 28 percent of them have criminal records. The average assets per candidate in the round is Rs 11.8 crore.

Simultaneous Assembly and General Elections will be held in six Parliamentary constituencies and 42 Assembly segments in the third phase on May 25. A total of 64 candidates, including nine women, are in the fray from Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Dhenkanal, Keonjhar, Puri and Sambalpur constituencies. The highest 14 contenders are contesting from Sambalpur, followed by 12 from Bhubaneswar, 11 from Keonjhar, 10 each from Cuttack and Dhenkanal and seven from Puri. At least 28 candidates have assets worth more than Rs 1 crore.

As per the poll affidavits analysed by Odisha Election Watch and the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR), BJD seems to have preferred to promote all wealthy politicians, as all six candidates of the regional outfit contesting in this phase of the Lok Sabha elections are crorepatis. The average of assets per BJD candidate is Rs 95.69 crore.

While the BJP and Congress have fielded four crorepati candidates, three of the five BSP candidates and one from Utkal Samaj are crorepatis. The average assets per BSP candidate is Rs 7.97 crore and those of the BJP and Congress are Rs 5.8 crore and Rs 2.21 crore, respectively.

With assets worth over Rs 482.21 crore, the BJD candidate from Cuttack Santrupt Misra is the richest. BJD’s Dhenkanal candidate Abinash Samal owns assets worth over Rs 36.78 crore, while BSP candidate from Keonjhar Ram Prasad Hembram is ranked third with assets worth more than Rs 35.81 crore.

While Misra had the highest income of Rs 66.21 crore, Samal had the maximum liabilities of Rs 13.95 crore. An independent candidate from Puri Dillip Kumar Baral is the poorest, with assets of only Rs 4,032. Of the 64 candidates analysed, 18 have declared criminal cases and 13 of them have serious criminal cases pending against them.

One candidate has declared cases related to murder, four have cases related to attempt-to-murder and four related to crime against women. All six BJP candidates have declared criminal cases and three of them have serious offences pending against them. Three of the Congress and two of the BJD have declared serious criminal cases against them.

As many as 19 candidates have educational qualifications between Class VIII and XII, while 43 are either graduates or above. Almost 70 percent of candidates are aged between 41 and 60 years, 11 are aged above 61 years and only eight are 25 to 40- years -old.

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