9 crorepatis in Orissa poll fray
Unbelievable it may sound in a state like Orissa, having backward and poverty-stricken areas, but records showed as many as nine Lok Sabha candidates in the state were crorepatis with one Congress nominee possessing assets of over Rs 20.72 crore.
As per the affidavits filed by contesting candidates to the returning officers, there were nine crorepatis -- four contesting on Congress tickets, three on Biju Janata Dal and one on BJP ticket. A BJP rebel, who joined the poll fray as an independent, also figured in the list.
Congress candidate from Puri Lok Sabha seat, Pinaki Mishra, topped the list of crorepatis with a total asset of over Rs 20.72 crore.
Mishra's immovable assets amounted to Rs 20.50 crore and movable assets were 22.35 lakh and he had no liabilities.
Sangeeta Kumari Singhdeo, a descendant of the royal family, who was seeking re-election from Balangir constituency had total assets of over Rs 2.74 crore including movable assets worth Rs 1,83,78,086. Her immovable assets amounted to Rs 91,05,600.
The figures of the assets possessed by various candidates, which were collected from their affidavits, were compiled and release to the media in Bhubaneshwar by 'Orissa Election Watch-2004', an NGO comprising personalities from different strata of society including former state police DGP AB Tripathy, former judge of Orissa High Court Lingaraj Rath and local cinestar Sarat Pujari.
Unlike Mishra, Sangeeta Kumari Singh Deo had liabilities of over Rs 3.83 lakh.
The son-in-law of OPCC President JB Patnaik, Soumya Ranjan Patnaik, contesting as a Congress candidate from Bhubaneswar parliamentary constituency was also among the crorepatis and his total assets were to the tune of over Rs 1.87 crore. He had immovable properties of Rs 1.49 crore, while his movable assets amounted to Rs 38,27 lakh. Patnaik had liabilities of Rs 14,52,965.
Another Congress candidate and scion of the royal familiy KP Singh Deo had a total asset of over Rs 1.41 crore.
Singh Deo, contesting for the eleventh time from Dhenkanal seat had immovable properties worth Rs 1.07 crore and movable assets of Rs 34.30 lakh. His liabilities were a little over Rs 1.21 lakh.
Bhartruhari Mahatab, a BJD candidate contesting against Jayanti Patnaik from Cuttack was also among the richest candidates in the state.
The 47-year-old Mahatab had immovable properties worth over Rs 1.11 crore and movable assets of over Rs 62.07 lakh. His liabilities were to the tune of over Rs 1.69 lakh.