Bhubaneswar: As Odisha gears up for the second phase of the Assembly elections scheduled for Thursday, 84 candidates have declared criminal cases against themselves, including 68 with serious criminal cases, according to Odisha Election Watch and Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR).
"Among the major parties, 21 are from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), 17 from Congress, 13 from Biju Janata Dal (BJD), and four out of 23 candidates analysed from the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) have declared criminal cases against themselves in their affidavits," the ADR said in a statement.
The ADR, which analysed the self-sworn affidavits of 241 out of 244 candidates contesting in the second phase Assembly polls, also said there were 14 constituencies having three or more candidates with declared criminal cases.
It has not analysed three candidates as their "affidavits were either badly scanned or complete affidavits were not uploaded on the ECI website".
Among other parameters, the ADR also said 111 candidates have declared their educational qualification to be between Class V and XII, while 121 candidates declared having an educational qualification of graduate or above.
"Four candidates have declared to be just literate and one candidate has not given his educational qualification details."
It also said that only 25 female candidates are contesting in the phase two polls while 216 candidates were men.
In terms of age, 57 candidates have declared their age to be between 25 to 40 years while 147 candidates are between 41 to 60 years of age.
"There are 36 candidates who have declared their age to be between 61 to 80 years. One candidate has not declared his age," it said.
Polling will be held in Bargarh, Sundargarh, Bolangir, Kandhamal and Aska Lok Sabha seats and Assembly constituencies of Odisha on Thursday.