Reported by Santosh Jagdev
Bhubaneswar, Apr 8:
Pinaki Misra of the BJD is the richest Lok Sabha candidate and there are as many as 29 crorepatis among the 98 candidates contesting the 11 Lok Sabha seats in the phase two polls in Odisha, due on April 17.
According to a report of the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) and Odisha Election Watch (OEW) based on the analysis of information furnished by the candidates in their affidavits presented here today, eight persons have declared assets worth over Rs 5 crore.
With assets worth more than Rs 137 crore, Pinaki Misra, the BJD candiadte in the Puri Lok Sabha constituency is far ahead of Sunjoy Hans of Aama Odisha Party from Bhubaneswar constituency who owns assets worth Rs 65 crore. Rabindra Kumar Jena of BJD from Balasore constituency comes third with assets worth Rs 57 crore.
However, there are atleast 6 candidates who have declared assets worth less than Rs 1 lakh. Sabyasachi Mahapatra of CPI (ML) Red star from Cuttack constituency with declared assets worth just Rs 600 assets is the poorest candidate in the second phase Lok Sabha polls and is followed by Subas Chandra Mallick of SUCI (C) from Jajpur constituency whose assets amount to Rs 6000 and Debendra Kumar Mallik of BSP from Jajpur constituency whose assets are worth Rs 10, 000.
The report, which was shard with the media today, also reveals that 5 candidates have a total declared annual income of more than Rs 1 crore. Rabindra Kumar Jena has declared the highest total income of Rs 6.64 crore followed by Pinaki Misra ( Rs 3.92 crore). Baijyanta Panda of BJD from Kendrapara constituency comes third with a total income of Rs 3.57 crore.
The party-wise list of crorepatis candidates shows 9 out of 11 candidates of the Congress (INC) , 8 out of 11 of BJD, 4 out of 11 of BJP, 3 out of 10 of AAP and 1 of the 2 candidates of Trinamool Congress have declared assets worth more than Rs 1 crore.
Twenty out of the 98 candidates in the fray for the 11 LS seats have some or other criminal cases against them. As for educational qualifications, three out of the 98 candidates have doctorate degrees.
Another important aspect that has come to the fore is that almost all political parties have failed to field enough women as their candidates. A paltry 17 women are in the fray for the parliament elections from the state out of the total 197 candidates in the race. 11 out of the 98 candidates in the second phase LS seats are women. This gives a clear indication about how serious the parties are about the 33 percent reservation for women.