Nine '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 here by 'Orissa Election Watch-2004', an NGO comprising personalities from different strata of society including former state police DGP A B Tripathy, former judge of Orissa High Court Lingaraj Rath and local cinestar Sarat Pujari.