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With Rs 313.53 cr assets, BJP's Dilip Ray richest candidate in phase 2 Odisha assembly polls

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NewsDrum Desk
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Bhubaneswar, May 14 (PTI) BJP candidate and former union minister Dilip Ray, who declared possessing assets valued at Rs 313.53 crore, has emerged as the richest MLA in the fray for the second phase of assembly elections in Odisha.

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According to a report by the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) and Odisha Election Watch, 95 of the total 265 candidates in 35 assembly segments going to pools on May 20 are crorepatis. Among the candidates, Ray, who is contesting from is contesting from Rourkela on BJP ticket, is the richest nominee with a total asset of Rs 313.53 crore. In his affidavit submitted to the Election Commission, the former union minister declared that he owns movable properties worth Rs 260.03 crore and immovable assets of Rs 53.50 crore, the report said. Ray became eligible to contest elections after the Delhi High Court stayed his conviction in an alleged coal block allocation scam in Jharkhand in 1999 when he was the union minister of state with independent charge of coal ministry.

Kalikesh Narayan Singh Deo, BJD’s MLA candidate from Bolangir constituency, is the second richest candidate in the fray for the second phase poll with a total asset of Rs 73.66 crore.

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, who is contesting from Kantabanji and Hinjili constituencies, is in third position with a total asset of Rs 71.07 crore, it said.

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The ADR report said that the average assets per candidate contesting in the Odisha Assembly elections (phase 2) is Rs 3.98 crore.

Among major parties, the average asset per candidate for 35 BJD candidates is Rs 12.09 crore, 33 Congress nominees analysed is Rs 2.95 crore, 35 BJP candidates Rs 13.11 crore and 10 AAP candidates Rs 95.89 lakh.

One independent candidate, Sohan Sipka, contesting from Kantabanji Constituency has declared zero assets.

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Three candidates with low assets are Pradipa Sahu (Rs 7,000) independently contesting from Boudh assembly seat, Forward Bloc' Abhiram Dharua (Rs 8,592) from Kantabanji and independent nominee Satyanarayan Bohidar (Rs 11,000) from Titlagarh, the report said.

Out of 265 candidates, 87 (33 per cent) candidates have declared criminal cases against themselves. At least 70 of them are facing serious criminal cases.

The report said five candidates have declared cases related to murder, while 16 others are facing attempt to murder cases, and 11 are accused of crimes against women.

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Among the major parties, 28 (80 per cent) candidates from BJP, 17 (52 per cent) from Congress, nine (26 per cent) from BJD and four (40 per cent) out of 10 AAP candidates have declared criminal cases against themselves in their affidavits, it said.

On education details of candidates, the report said that 130 nominees have declared their qualifications to be between 5th and 12th standard pass, while 122 candidates are graduates or above.

Only 41 (15 per cent) female candidates are contesting in the phase-II Odisha Assembly election. PTI BBM BBM NN

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