Himansu Shekhar Rout

In the last five years, the value of the assets of BJD MLA candidate Souvic Biswal increased by 2338 per cent or 23 times. 

This was revealed in a report published by the Odisha Election Watch and the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) following the analysis of the affidavits of 103 candidates and comparing them with the 2019 data.

After winning the 2019 election, the wealth and assets of many candidates have grown by 10 to 23 times. The assets of BJD’s Choudwar-Cuttack candidate Souvic Biswal were valued at Rs 20.68 lakh in 2019, but in the last five years, his assets grew to Rs 5.4 crore reflecting an increase of 23 times.    

BJD candidate for the Rourkela Assembly seat, Sarada Nayak had declared Rs 13.30 lakh assets in 2019, while his declared assets are now valued at Rs 1.21 crore.  

Moreover, the assets of BJD’s Khallikote MLA candidate Suryamani Vaidya grew by 496 per cent; that of Congress' Mohana candidate Dasarathi Gamang by 386 per cent and the Independent candidate from Ghasipura seat Soumya Ranjan Patnaik by 306 per cent.

Advisor of the Odisha Election Watch, Sahadev Sahoo said, “BJD candidate Souvic Biswal recorded the highest increase in assets. It increased by 2338 per cent.”    

'412 candidates crorepatis'

Besides, 412 MLA candidates contesting the current elections are crorepatis. 

Ranjan Mohanty, the state coordinator of the Odisha Election Watch said, "BJP's Dilip Ray is the richest candidate with assets worth Rs 313. 53 crore followed by BJD candidate from Champua Sanatan Mahakud with Rs 227.67 crore assets. The third richest MLA candidate is BJD’s Basta nominee Subashini Jena with declared assets of Rs 135.17 crore.”

'Five MLAs have no assets'

Surprisingly, five MLA candidates Ramesh Kumar Mahananda, Purna Chandra Majhi, Sohan Sipka, Sanjay Kumar Das and Gopal Krushna Mohanty have declared that they have no assets.

Moreover, 348 MLA candidates have criminal cases pending against them while 292 have serious criminal offences and 66 have cases related to crime against women.

As many as 10 candidates are accused in murder cases while 70 others are involved in attempts to murder.  
Four candidates in the fray are aged 80 and above.

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