Business Standard

As many as 26 out of the 97 candidates in the fray for the Lok Sabha seats, going to polls in the first phase in state on April 10, are crorepatis. They account for about 27 per cent of the  contestants, according to a joint analysis by Association of Democratic Reforms (ADR) and Election Watch (OEW). OEW has analysed the affidavits of 97 out of the 98 candidates contesting the first phase of polls in 10 parliamentary constituencies in the state.

Party-wise, eight candidates of Congress, seven contestants of BJD, four nominees of BJP and one of eight candidates fielded by debutant Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and a single contestant of Bahujan Samajwadi Party (BSP) have declared assets worth more than Rs 1 crore in their affidavits. In contrast to these crorepatis, Ashok Mittal of AITC from Bargarh constituency has declared zero assets. The average assets per candidate contesting in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections from Odisha (Phase 1) is Rs 1.62 crore.

The average asset for 10 BJD candidates in the fray is Rs 8.32 crore followed by Congress (Rs 3.28 crore), BJP (Rs 1.72 crore), BSP (Rs 39.13 lakh) and AAP (Rs 20.34 lakh).

Eight candidates have more than Rs 5 crore worth of assets.The total assets includes self assets and others assets, the report said. The crorepati contestants at the top of the table are Hemendra Chandra Singh, the BJD nominee for Kandhamal constituency  with total assets of Rs 50,39, 07, 437 followed by Harihara Karana (Rs 9,63, 50,411), the Congress nominee for same seat. Royal scion Kalikesh Narayan Singh Deo, the BJD candidate from Bolangir figures at the third spot with total assets of more than Rs 8 crore.

Out of 97 candidates in the fray, 17 have declared assets of less than Rs 2 lakhs.

The candidates with lowest assets are CPI (M-L) nominee for Kalahandi seat, Balaram Hota having assets of only Rs 1,150 followed by Lawrencia Lakra, an independent candidate from reserved Sundergarh constituency (Rs 1,500) and  Prakash Hikaka, CPI(M-L) Redstar candidate in Koraput seat (Rs 2,500). A total of 15 candidates analysed have declared liabilities above Rs 10 lakhs. Singh Deo of BJD from Bolangir has declared liabilities worth Rs 2.44 crore followed by Dhanada Kanta Mishra, AAP in Berhampur constituency, with liabilities worth Rs 56.62 lakh. Hemendra Singh of BJD in Kandhamal seat has liabilities worth Rs 47.86 lakh.

Amarnath Pradhan, the Congress contender from Sambalpur constituency has declared the highest total income of Rs 44.33 lakh followed by Balabhadra Majhi of BJD from Nabarangpur seat at Rs 19.89 lakh and BJD candidate in Bolangir constituency having an annual income of Rs 18.85 lakh. Eleven candidates have declared total annual income of over Rs 10 lakh.

“Total income includes income of self, spouse and dependents,” the report said.

Fifty three of 97 candidates, representing about 55 per cent of analysed contestants, have not declared income tax details. Similarly, 25 contestants have not declared their PAN (permanent account details) details. Nineteen candidates in the fray for the first phase of the Lok Sabha elections in Odisha have criminal cases pending against them. The affidavit of Das Charan Majhi of Jharkhand Discom party in Sundargarh was not analysed due to unclear affidavit available on ECI site, the report added.

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