Bhubaneswar, Apr 26 : Odisha Pradesh Congress chief Niranjan Patnaik contesting Bhandaripokhari Assembly seat and and his son Navajyoti Patnaik contesting for Balasore Lok Sabha seat are the richest candidates among 398 candidates in the fray for the fourth phase election in Odisha. While Mr Niranjan Patnaik has a total assets of Rs 60 crore, the total assets of his son Navajyoti Patnaik is Rs 104 crore. An analysis of self sworn affidavits of candidates by Association of Democratic Reforms (ADR) and the Odisha Chapter of National Election Watch (OEW) found 17 crorepatis contesting the Lok Sabha and 81 crorepatis for the Assembly.
As many as 52 candidates are in the fray for the six Lok Sabha seats—Mayurbhanj, Balasore, Bhadrak, Jajpur, Kendrapara and Jagatsinghpur and 346 candidates are vying for 42 Assembly seats falling under these Parliamentary constituencies. Election Watch state coordinator Ranjan Mohanty said the three richest candidates in the fray for the fourth phase of election in Lok Sabha are Mr Navajyoti Patnaik (Rs104 crore), BJD candidate Rabindra Kumar Jena (Balasore Lok Sabha seat) Rs 72 crore and Mr Baijyanata Panda (BJP) for the Kendrapara Lok Sabha seat with an assets of Rs 57 crore.
One candidate each from JMM, Jai Prakash Janata Dal, Ambedkar National Congress also figured as crorepati. Partywise the BJD has fielded the highest number of 33 crorepatis in Lok Sahha and Assembly seats in the fourth phase of election followed by Congress (27, BJP (23). Mr Mohanty said, top three candidates contesting Assembly seats with highest declared assets are Congress candidate Niranjan Patnaik (Rs 60 crore), Congress nominee for Jagatsinghpur Assembly seat Chiranjib Biswal (Rs 33 crore) and BJD candidate P K Balbantray for the Dharmasala Assembly seat (Rs 17 crore).
Ruling BJD has the highest number of 27 crorepatis contesting the Assembly elections in the fourth phase followed by Congress (23), BJP (20), AAP and AITC one each. Mr Tulasi Marandi of Jharkhand peoples party contesting from Udala Assembly Constituency has declared zero assets. Three candidates—Umakanta Parida contesting the Balikuda-Erasama on Kalingsa sena ticket, Birabara Dalai of Indian Citizen Party contesting for the Balikuda-Erasama Assembly seat and BSP nominee Nalini Kumar Jena contesting for the Bhograi Assembly seat have the lowest assets.
While Mr Parida has a total assets of Rs 500, Mr Dalai has an assets of Rs 505, and the total assets of Mr Jena is Rs 4,000. The top three candidates for Assembly with highest liabilities are Mr Ratikanta Kanungo (Ind) contesting the Patkura Assembly seat, Bandita Parida (Cong) contesting from Korei Assembly seat and Mr Bishnubrata Routray (BJD) contesting from Basudevpur Assembly seat.
While Mr Kanungo has a total declared liabilities of Rs five crore, Ms Parida has Rs four crore and Mr Routray has a declared liability of Rs two crore. The three candidates contesting for Lok Sabha seats with lowest assets are Mr Subash (Pragatishila Samajwadi party-Lohia) contesting from Balasore Lok Sabha seat, Free Thought Party of India nominee Anil Kumar Behera contesting for Jagatsinghpur Lok Sabha seat and AITC nominee Tilotamma Jena contesting for the Bhadrak Lok Sabha seat. While Mr Subash has an assets of Rs 7,000, Mr Behera has an assets of Rs 8,002 and Ms Jena has an assets of Rs 42,000. (UNI)