30 percent of candidates in Odisha assembly polls have criminal background:ADR

Bhubaneswar:  Thirty percent of the candidates contesting for the assembly election in Odisha have declared criminal cases against them, said a report prepared by Odisha Election Watch and the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR).

The Odisha Election Watch and ADR today published the consolidated report of the fourth phase polls in the state. The report is an analysis of self-sworn affidavits of 1121 out of 1137 candidates who are in the poll fray for the assembly election.

As per the report 332 candidates out of 1121 candidates analysed, have declared criminal cases against them while 257 (23%) candidates have declared serious criminal cases including cases related to rape, murder, attempt to murder, kidnapping and crime against women.

Similarly, as many as 304 candidates (27 percent) candidates fighting the assembly polls are crorepatis. The number of crorepati candidates was 244 in 2014 assembly polls out of 1420 candidates. On the contrary, six candidates have declared zero assets in their affidavits.

As per the report Bobby Mohanty, the Congress candidate from Baramba is the richest with assets of Rs 106 crore followed by BJD supremo Naveen Patnaik and state Congress president Niranjan Patnaik having assets worth Rs 63 crore and Rs 60 crore respectively.

The report also showed that 472 (42%) candidates have declared their educational qualification to be between 5th pass and 12th pass, while 598 (53%) candidates have declared having an educational qualification of graduation and above. Women representation continues to be poor in the state with only 112 women contesting the assembly polls this time while the number of women candidates in 2014 was 117.

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