A majority of Lok Sabha candidates from Orissa are tax evaders, reveals an analysis of the affidavits submitted by them while filing nomination papers.
Of the 157 who have filed their papers from 21 Lok Sabha seats, 84 don't have PAN cards, which is mandatory to be a part of the government tax regime.
These candidates are from all leading national political parties, including a millionaire from the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP).
"This is shocking," said Ranjan Mohanty, convener of the Orissa Election Watch, a civil rights organisation that reviewed all the affidavits.
Amongst those who don't pay taxes are Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) heavyweight Parsuram Majhi, seeking re-nomination to the Lok Sabha for a third term, and sitting MP and veteran Biju Janata Dal (BJD) leader Prasanna Patasani.
Also in the list is millionaire politician Papanna Mutika of the BSP.
Sitting MP Archana Nayak, who recently joined the BJP after quitting the BJD, arrested BJP candidate from Kandhamal Ashok Sahu as well as Congress candidate from Nabrangpur Pradeep Majhi too don't have PAN cards.
"It is shocking and shameful to see our politicians doing all negative things," Sahadeva Sahu, a former chief secretary of Orissa, said.
"When you don't pay taxes, how are you eligible to levy taxes on millions in the country? There should be a proper guideline by the Election Commission on this issue."
Sarat Chandra Pujari, a theatre activist and political analyst, said: "It is beyond comprehension that politicians who are reputedly spending millions (of rupees) in electioneering don't have any income."
"Some politicians must have some business. How come they don't file their tax returns and still get elected as law makers?" he asked.
Congress spokesperson Kailash Acharya put up a feeble defence of the erring politicians.
"If politicians are not paying taxes, then income tax officials should take action against them," he said.