Odisha TV

In the first phase of the 2024 Lok Sabha and Assembly elections in Odisha, 234 candidates are contending, with 65 facing criminal charges. The richest candidate, Biplab Patra, boasts assets worth Rs 33.36 crore.

As many as 234 candidates of various political parties are in the fray for the first phase of Lok Sabha and Assembly elections in Odisha, scheduled on May 13. Of them, 65 contestants have criminal cases pending against them.

This was stated in a report which was compiled by ADR and the Odisha Election Watch, based on the affidavits of the candidates. 

The report pointed out that former mayor Shiba Shankar Das who is contesting as an Independent in the Berhampur Assembly Assembly constituency has the highest 46 criminal cases against him.

In terms of educational qualifications, four of the candidates are illiterate, the report said, adding that only 32 women candidates are in the fray in the first phase polls. 

Moreover, the richest among the 234 candidates is BJD’s MLA nominee Biplab Patra from the Digaphandi Assembly seat. He has declared total assets of Rs 33.36 crore. 

However, two candidates have declared that they have no assets at all while the nominee of the Republican Party Ramesh Jani, who is contesting from the Laxmipur Assembly seat in Koraput, owns property worth Rs 1000 only. 

Addressing a presser, Ranjan Mohanty, state coordinator of the Odisha Election Watch said, "As many as 65 out of a total of 234 candidates facing elections on May 13 have various criminal cases. They constitute 27 per cent of the contestants in the fray of the first phase polls in Odisha. As many as 48 out of the 65 candidates have serious criminal cases.”

Mohanty added that in terms of assets, BJD’s Biplab Patra of Digapahandi has assets worth over Rs 33 crore, followed by his party’s candidate Bikram Panda in Ganjam with declared assets of Rs 15 crore.

© Association for Democratic Reforms
Privacy And Terms Of Use
Donation Payment Method