Bhubaneswar: Politics is a rich man’s game and the contestants seeking their fate in the first phase of the Odisha assembly polls are a testament to this adage.
1. At least 26 per cent of the candidates or 49 of the 189 contesting the State Assembly elections in the first phase are crorepatis.
2. Among the major political parties, 11 of 28 candidates in BJP have declared assets in excess of Rs 1 crore; 14 of 27 are from Congress and 17 of 28 are from the ruling BJD.
3. Seven candidates declared assets in excess of five crore and 21 candidates are those whose assets are between Rs 2-5 crore.
The analysis is the outcome of a study done by Odisha Election Watch and Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR). It is based on the self-sworn affidavits of all the candidates.
4. BJP’s Dharamgarh candidate Ananta Pratap Deo has declared the highest asset among all the candidates at Rs 27 crore. He is followed by Lingaraj Choudhury of Congress, who is contesting from Berhampur. He has declared asset of Rs 17 crore. Surjya Narayan Patro of BJD, who is contesting from Digapahandi, is worth Rs 16 crore.
5. Among major parties, the average assets per candidate:
For 28 BJD candidates analysed, it is Rs 2.58 crore, 27 Congress candidates analysed is Rs 1.95 crore. 28 BJP candidates have average assets of Rs 2.06 crore.
22 BSP candidates have average assets worth Rs. 44.81 lakh.
6. Average assets per candidate contesting the Assembly elections in Phase I is Rs 1.16 Crores.
7. Significantly, 27 candidates are those who have not declared their PAN details.
8. The study also analysed the low asset candidates. Subash Chandra Gouda, who is seeking mandate as an independent candidate from Jeypore, has declared his asset at just Rs 1,000. Ram Barik of SUCI(C), who is contesting from Koraput, has a declared asset of Rs 1,566 and Purna Mandingi of CPI(ML) Red Star (Lakshmipur candidate in Koraput) has declared his asset at Rs 5,000.
9. When it comes to educational qualification, 82 candidates have passed their graduation and 101 have declared having attended between Class V to Class XII.
10. While 59 candidates are in the age group of 25 to 40 years, 110 are between 41 and 60 years. Nineteen candidates have declared their age to be between 61 and 70 years.