Times of India
Ashok Pradhan

Odisha health minister Naba Kisore Das (61) who was shot dead by an on-duty assistant sub-inspector of police from close range at Brajarajnagar township in his home district Jharsuguda, is among state's richest MLAs with declared assets of around Rs 34 crore.

Naba was in the news last week for donating a costly gold pitcher to a temple in Maharashtra. While various reports said he donated the 1.7 kg gold urn besides silver worth of Rs 1 crore, Das had told TOI on Monday that his entire donations to the Shani temple at Shinganapur under Ahmednagar district in Maharashtra would be around Rs 10 lakh.

"It was the auspicious occasion of Triveni Amavasya on Saturday. "From common man to big leaders, thousands gather there to pray the lord. I also visited the holy shrine with my family. I am a firm believer," he had told TOI.

According to an analysis of poll affidavits of MLAs by Association of Democratic Reforms (ADR) in 2019, Naba's declared assets at Rs 33.62 crore is second highest after chief minister Naveen Patnaik's Rs 63.87 crore.

As per Naba's property statement submitted to the government last year, the businessman-turned politician owns a fleet of 70 vehicles, mostly goods carriers besides some luxury cars, total worth Rs 15 crore. He has a Mercedes Benz whose present value is estimated at over Rs 1.14 crore.

Hailing from the industrial town of Jharsuguda,Naba is from a business family with his interest mainly in mining transport sector across Jharsuguda, Sundargarh and Sambalpur districts. His father, Narasingh Chandra Das (92), was earlier into public transport business while his mother, Bishnupriya (87), is a homemaker. Naba diversified into transporting goods.

A three-time Jharsuguda MLA, Naba was elected on a Congress ticket in 2009 and 2014. In the run-up to the 2019 elections, he joined BJD and was re-elected from Jharsuguda for a third time. His resignation from the Congress in 2019 had invited huge media attention because he held the post of working president of Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee apart from being an MLA.

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