BHUBANESWAR: On Monday, a report released by Odisha Election Watch said that ruling BJD president and Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik is the richest among the 244 candidates contesting the assembly elections, in the 2nd phase, scheduled on April 18. The Odisha Election Watch is a part of the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR).
Odisha Election Watch Convenor Ranjan Mohanty said "Of the 244 candidates in the fray for the 35 assembly segments, 70 are crorepatis," adding that 13 candidates have assets worth Rs. 5 crore and above, and 24 others have assets between Rs. 2 crore and Rs. 5 crore. While Mr Patnaik, who is contesting from two assembly segments, Hinjili and Bijepur, tops the list of rich candidates with total assets worth Rs. 63 crore, BJP candidate KV Singhdeo contesting from Patnagarh segment in Bolangir district stands second with total assets worth Rs. 37 crore, the report said.
Here it is to be noted that BJD's Jharsuguda candidate, Naba Kishore Das, is in the third place with total assets worth Rs. 33 crore, it said. Mr Das is followed by BJD candidate Saroj Kumar Meher of Patnagarh seat with total assets worth Rs. 31 crore. Other rich candidates are BJP's Bijay Kumar Swain (Rs. 15 cr), BJD's Arkesh Narayan Singhdeo (Rs. 15 crore), BJD's Nandini Devi (Rs. 11 crore), BJP's Dinesh Jain (Rs. 8 cr), BJP's Pitamber Acharya (Rs. 7 crore) and BJD's Kishore Kumar Mohanty (Rs. 7 crore), the report added. BSP candidate Narayan Versa contesting from Bhatli assembly segment only has Rs. 8,044.
However it is worth mention here that incidentally, KV Singhdeo's wife Sangeeta Singhdeo was also on the top of the list of candidates for the Lok Sabha with assets worth Rs. 37 crore. Of the 35 candidates contesting for five Lok Sabha seats in the second phase of the elections, 11 are crorepatis, he said.