Himansu Shekhar Rout

As many as 86 candidates contesting in the third phase of the Assembly elections in Odisha have serious crimes against them while four are accused in murder cases. 

This was revealed by a report jointly prepared by ADR and Odisha Election Watch based on the affidavits filed by the contestants. 

The report which was presented on Saturday pointed out that there are 383 candidates of various political parties who are in the fray in 42 Assembly seats. The report was prepared on the analysis of the affidavits of 381 candidates. 

Addressing a presser at Bhubaneswar on Saturday, Ranjan Mohanty, a member of the Odisha Election Watch said, “Of these candidates, various criminal cases are pending against 100 while 26 candidates have confessed to have attempt-to-murder cases against them and 28 of them are involved in crimes against women. Even one of the candidates is accused in a rape case.”

Moreover, the report stated that 126 MLA aspirants in the fray are crorepatis. 

The report added that the BJD MLA candidate for Champua, Sanatan Mahakud topped the list of crorepatis with declared assets of Rs 227. 67 crore followed by Independent candidate Soumya Ranjan Patnaik at Rs 122.86 crore. Patnaik is fighting the election from the Ghasipura Assembly seat.

The third crorepati candidate is BJP’s Pratyusha Rajeswari Singh, who is in the fray from the Nayagarh Assembly seat with declared assets of Rs 120. 56 core.  

The poorest among the candidates is Samrudha Odisha’s nominee Kailash Chandra Nayak who is contesting from the Baramba Assembly seat. In his affidavit, he has declared assets of Rs 1000 only. 

That apart, two of the candidates have not passed the matriculation examination while the educational qualifications of two others are below class 5.

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