Bhubaneswar: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) that claims to have nominated candidates with clean background for the general elections 2019 topped the list of nominees with criminal cases in fourth phase polls in Odisha.
According to the report prepared by Odisha Election Watch and the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR), a whopping 72 out of a total 346 candidates, who are contesting in Odisha Assembly phase IV elections, have declared criminal cases against themselves and 52 have declared serious criminal cases.
In percentage, it is 22% candidates out of 334 candidates analyzed for the fourth phase polls have criminal cases and 16% have serious criminal cases.
While the highest number of candidates with criminal cases and serious criminal cases are from the BJP, Odisha’s ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) and opposition Congress are found second and third position in the list.
Among the major parties, 24(60%) out of 40 candidates analysed from BJP, 12(31%) out of 39 candidates from INC, 15 (39%) out of 39 candidates from BJD, and 1 (3%) out of 31 candidates from BSP have declared criminal cases against themselves in their affidavits, the ADR report stated.
Similarly, among the major parties, 16(40%) out of 40 candidates analysed from BJP, 10(26%) out of 39 candidates from INC, 10 (26%) out of 39 candidates from BJD, and 1 (3%) out of 31 candidates from BSP have declared serious criminal cases against themselves in their affidavits.
Out of total 334 candidates analyzed by the ADR, Three candidates have declared cases related to murder (Indian Penal Code Section-302), 11 candidates have declared cases related to attempt to murder (Indian Penal Code Section-307), 8 candidates have declared cases related to crime against women such as husband or relative of husband of a woman subjecting her to cruelty (IPC Section-498A) and assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty (IPC Section-354).
However, the Odisha Election Watch and ADR have not analysed 12 candidates as their affidavits were either badly scanned or complete affidavits were not uploaded on the ECI website.
The fourth phase polls will also witness 98 crorepati candidates contesting the Assembly and Lok Sabha elections.
As per the ADR report, Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) head Niranjan Patnaik and his son Navajyoti Ptanaik are the richest politicians nominated to fight the polls in fourth phase.
Notably, the fourth phase polls will be held tomorrow for 40 Assembly segments under six Lok Sabha Constituencies — Kendrapara, Balasore, Bhadrak, Mayurbhanj, Jajpur and Jagatsinghpur.