The Hindu

A report by ADR shows that 19% candidates have declared that they have criminal cases pending against them

Of the 37 candidates in the fray for the four Lok Sabha seats in Odisha going to the polls on May 13, as many as 17 are crorepatis, according to a report.

The Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) said a total of 37 candidates are in the fray for the Nabarangpur, Berhampur, Koraput and Kalahandi Lok Sabha constituencies, of which 17 (46%) candidates have declared their assets worth more than ₹1 crore.

The BJP and BJD candidates for the four Lok Sabha seats are crorepatis. Three Congress nominees, four independent candidates, one from Bharatiya Bikash Parishad and another from Naba Bharata Nirmana Seva Party have also announced their properties worth over Rs 1 crore, according to the ADR report.

With total assets of ₹41.89 crore, Malvika Devi, the BJP candidate for the Kalahandi Lok Sabha seat, is the richest candidate. She was followed by V. Chandra Shekhar (₹28.70 crore), an independent candidate for the Berhampur constituency, and Rajendra Dalabehera (₹10.30 crore), Bharatiya Bikash Parishad nominee for Berhampur,

As per the report, the SUCI(C) candidate for the Koraput MP seat, Pramila Pujari is the poorest candidate. Ms. Pujari declared that she has assets of only ₹20,625. Pradeep Kumar Panigrahy, the BJP nominee for Berhampur Lok Sabha constituency, has the highest liabilities worth ₹3.82 crore.

Similarly, 14 (38%) candidates have declared their educational qualification to be between class 5 and 12 passed, while 22 (59%) candidates have declared they are graduates. One candidate has declared himself to be just literate. Out of 37 candidates, only seven are female.

Besides, 10 (27%) candidates have declared their age to be between 25 to 40 years while 23 (62%) candidates are between 41 to 60 years. Four (11%) candidates are between 61 and 70 years. As many as 7 (19%) candidates have declared that they have criminal cases pending against them, the report said.

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