ADR report on Odisha : National parties have more tainted candidates than the regional ones

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BHUBANESWAR: With just 3 days to the first phase voting, the Association of Democratic Reforms (ADR) and Odisha Election Watch have jointly released a report on the Criminal, Financial & Educational background of the Candidates standing in the 1st phase of the Odisha Assembly Polls.

As per the report, out of 189 candidates analyzed, 55 (or 29%) candidates have declared criminal cases against themselves. As many as 35 candidates or 19% are having serious criminal cases against themselves. The report also reveals that, the national parties have fielded more numbers of tainted candidates than the regional ones.

The Indian National Congress has the highest number of tainted candidates followed by BJP and BJD. Highest 59 per cent candidates from Congress, 39 per cent from BJP and 32% of BJD in the fray for the first phase Lok Sabha elections in the State have pending criminal cases, said the ADR report. The Congress party has also highest numbers of candidates (37%) with serious criminal cases followed by BJP ( 29%) and BJD ( 21%).

Four Lok Sabha and 26 Assembly constituencies in Odisha are going to polls on April 11.

The ADR report, however, clarified that of 189 Assembly nominees from different political outfits, 55 (29 pc) have pending cases and 35 (19 pc) among them have been slapped with serious criminal charges. Similarly, 32 pc BJD nominees for Assembly election have cases pending against them.

“Among the major parties, 16 (59 pc) out of 27 candidates from Congress, 11 (39 pc) out of 28 from BJP, nine (32 pc) of 28 nominees from BJD and two (nine pc) of 22 BSP candidates have declared pending criminal cases,” the report stated.

Three nominees each from BJP, Congress and BJD are crorepatis along with one Independent candidate. Congress nominee from Berhampur V Chandrasekhar Naidu is the richest with assets over Rs 36 crore while CPI(ML) Red Star candidate from Koraput Rajendra Kendruka has lowest asset of Rs 565. The BJD has highest 17 crorepati Assembly candidates followed by 14 from Congress, 11 from BJP and two from BSP, besides five Independent candidates. BJP’s Ananta Pratap Deo from Dharmagarh constituency has highest assets of over Rs 27 crore.

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