BJP’s Baijayant Panda richest candidate in last phase of LS elections in Odisha

Bhubaneswar, May 22 (IANS) The BJP’s Lok Sabha nominee from Odisha’s Kendrapara, Baijayant Panda, with declared assets of Rs 148 crore is the richest candidate among those in the fray for the last phase of polling for six Lok Sabha seats in Odisha scheduled on June 1.

As per a report published by the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) and Odisha Election Watch, 20 (30 percent) out of the total 66 candidates who have filed nominations for the six Lok Sabha constituencies going to the polls on June 1 are millionaires.

In the affidavit submitted to the Election Commission of India, Baijayant Panda declared movable assets of Rs 1,21,60,13,384 and immovable properties worth Rs 26, 48, 65,324.

Sriram Pandey who is contesting from the Kendrapara Lok Sabha seat as an Independent candidate, is the second richest candidate. Pandey owns assets to the tune of Rs 18 crore.

The report also claimed that the average assets per candidate of all the recognised political parties and Independent candidates are around Rs 3.83 crore. The average assets per candidate of the six BJP candidates in the fray for the fourth phase of polling in Odisha stood at Rs 27 crore.

The average assets per candidate of the six BJD nominees are Rs 6 crore while the average assets per candidate of the five Indian National Congress candidates stood at Rs 2 crore.

Bhanumati Das , who is contesting elections from the Jagatsinghpur parliamentary constituency as a candidate of Utkal Samaj, has revealed possessing only Rs 1500.

Meanwhile, 15 (23%) out of the 66 candidates in the fray have declared criminal cases against them with 10 of them facing serious criminal charges. One of the candidates has declared cases related to crime against women pending against him.

Polling for the six Lok sabha constituencies of Mayurbhanj, Balasore, Bhadrak, Jajpur, Kendrapara and Jagatsinghpur will be held on June 1. Voting for the assembly and Lok Sabha elections is being held simultaneously in Odisha in four phases from May 13 to June 1.



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