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26.08.2019
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The average assets of Ministers in Odisha Cabinet have increased to `7.34 crore in 2019 from `2.27 crore in 2014, according to a report of Odisha Election Watch and Association for Democratic Reforms

BHUBANESWAR:  The average assets of Ministers in Odisha Cabinet have increased to `7.34 crore in 2019 from `2.27 crore in 2014, according to a report of Odisha Election Watch and Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR).The number of Ministers with declared criminal cases has also increased from six to eight between 2014 and 2019. While there were four Ministers with declared serious criminal cases in the 2014 Cabinet, the number has now increased to seven. 

However, the number of women members in both the Cabinets remained constant at two. While 22 Ministers were sworn in 2014, the Odisha cabinet now has 21 Ministers.Ministers who have declared criminal cases against them are Sudam Marndi, Susanta Singh, Prafulla Kumar Mallik, Samir Ranjan Dash, Pratap Jena, Dibya Shankar Mishra, Jagannath Saraka and Jyoti Prakash Panigrahi.

According to the report, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has the highest declared assets of `63.87 crore followed by Health and Family Welfare Minister Naba Kishore Das who has assets worth `33.62 crore. Law Minister Pratap Jena comes third with assets of `9.64 crore. Other crorepati Ministers in Naveen’s 2019 Ministry are Ashok Chandra Panda (`8.52 crore), Dibya Shankar Mishra (`8.07 crore), Tukuni Sahu (`4.51 crore), Niranjan Pujari (`3.97 crore), Bikram Keshari Arukha (`3.82 crore), Raghunandan Das (`3.05 crore), Ranendra Pratap Swain (`2.89 crore), Sudam Marndi (`2.46 crore), Samir Ranjan Dash (`2.43 crore) and Padmanabha Behera (`2.30 crore). Tusharkanti Behera is the poorest Minister with assets of `24.16 lakh.

The report maintained that 26 out of 67 winners in the Assembly elections with declared criminal cases against them have won with more than 20 per cent margin of victory. Besides, there are 38 winners with a clean background who have emerged victorious over those with declared criminal cases. 

The report said 37 out of 95 crorepati candidates won against non-crorepati nominees. Similarly, 22 non-crorepati nominees won against crorepati candidates. There were four candidates, two each from BJD and Congress, who have won with less than 1,000 margin in the Assembly elections.
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