Prameya News
Prameya News Bureau

At least 65 candidates of various political parties out of 243 contesting in the first phase of Assembly elections in Odisha have criminal cases pending against them.

Of them, 48 are facing serious criminal cases while former mayor of Berhampur Municipal Corporation, Shiv Shankar Das, who is contesting as an independent from Berhampur Assembly constituency, has highest 46 criminal cases against him. An election watchdog, Odisha Election Watch and Association of Democratic Reforms (ADR), revealed this on Monday after analysing affidavits of all the 243 contesting candidates of 28 Assembly constituencies going to polls on May 13.

As many as 18 candidates of BJP, 17 of Congress, nine of BJD and three nominees of AAP have declared criminal cases against themselves in their affidavits. Out of 81 independent candidates contesting in 28 Assembly seats of eight districts have criminal cases pending against them.

As per ADR report criteria, serious criminal cases are offences for which maximum punishment is five years or more and if an offence is non-bailable. It also includes crimes against women and those related to loss to exchequer and corruption.

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