The Times of India

BHUBANESWAR: Fifty-five crorepatis have been fielded by different political parties for two-phase Lok Sabha elections in Odisha - one of the poorest states of India - according to a report released by NGOs Association of Democratic Reforms and Odisha Election Watch here on Tuesday.

BJD candidate for Puri Lok Sabha (LS) constituency Pinaki Mishra is the 'richest' among 196 in the fray. The 'poorest' is Ashok Mittal of Trinamool Congress (TMC) for Bargarh LS constituency as he has declared 'zero' assets in his affidavit.

Sabyasachi Mahapatra of CPI (ML)-Red Star for Cuttack constituency has just Rs 600.

Sitting MP and Supreme Court lawyer Pinaki has property worth Rs 137 crore followed by Aama Odisha Party nominee for Bhubaneswar Lok Sabha seat and jeweller Sunjoy Hans with assets of Rs 57 crore. BJD candidate for Balasore LS seat Rabindra Jena has disclosed property of Rs 57 crore in his affidavit while sitting BJD MP Baijayant Panda from Kendrapada is worth Rs 31 crore.

Among 98 candidates each in the fray for both phases, 26 crorepatis are trying their luck for 10 seats for polling on April 10 and number is 29 for April 17 polls.

Average assets per candidate contesting for first phase are Rs 1.62 crore while it's Rs 3.96 crore for second phase.

BJD candidate for Kandhamal LS seat Hemendra Singh is the richest for first phase with Rs 50-crore assets. The next is his opponent from Congress Harihara Karan with Rs 9 crore.

The report also revealed that there are five candidates, who have declared annual income of more than Rs 1 crore.

Rabindra has declared the highest total income of Rs 6.64 crore. Pinaki with Rs 3.92 crore and Baijayant Rs 3.57 crore are second and third respectively.

The party-wise list of crorepati candidates showed 17 out of 21 candidates of Congress, 18 of BJD, eight of BJP, four of AAP, three candidates of TMC and one of Bahujan Samaj Party have declared assets of more than Rs 1 crore.

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