Wealth in Politics: Crorepati Candidates Vie for Victory in Odisha’s Second Phase Polls

The first phase of Lok Sabha and Assembly elections in Odisha concluded peacefully, the state recorded a voter turnout of 73.97 percent in the first phase.

·       Ahead of the second phase polling on May 20, the BJP on Tuesday claimed that the party has performed well in the first phase and is optimistic of winning a majority of seats.

·       According to an analysis a staggering 36% of the candidates contesting in the second phase of the Odisha Assembly Elections 2024 are crorepatis.

·       With the highest assets, BJP’s Dilip Ray leads, followed by BJD’s Kalikesh Narayan Singh Deo and CM Naveen Patnaik. The average asset per candidate is Rs 3.98 crore.

As the dust settles on the peaceful conclusion of the first phase of Lok Sabha and Assembly elections in Odisha, attention swiftly turns to the upcoming second phase, slated for May 20, 2024. Amidst the electoral fervor, the spotlight now shines on the financial landscapes of the candidates vying for victory in this crucial phase.

According to an analysis conducted by the Odisha Election Watch and Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR), a staggering 36% of the candidates contesting in the second phase of the Odisha Assembly Elections 2024 are crorepatis. With a total of 95 out of 265 candidates boasting assets exceeding the crore mark, the electoral arena is awash with wealth and influence.

The average assets per candidate in this phase stand at a significant Rs 3.98 crore, reflecting the formidable financial firepower wielded by many of the contestants. Topping the list of the wealthiest contenders is Dilip Ray of the BJP, with assets totaling a staggering Rs 313 crore. Following closely behind is Kalikesh Narayan Singh Deo of the BJD, with assets valued at Rs 73 crore. Notably, BJD supremo and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik also features prominently in the rankings, occupying the third position with assets amounting to Rs 71 crore.

The top 10 richest candidates in the second phase polls represent a diverse array of political affiliations, with BJP, BJD, and INC contenders making notable appearances. From Kanak Vardhan Singh Deo of the BJP to Saroj Kumar Meher and Dipali Das of the BJD, the list underscores the formidable financial resources at the disposal of many political aspirants in Odisha.

Against the backdrop of this wealth-centric electoral landscape, political narratives intersect with economic realities, shaping the contours of Odisha’s democratic discourse. As parties vie for supremacy and candidates vie for votes, questions surrounding the equitable distribution of resources and the role of money in politics loom large.

Meanwhile, amidst the buzz surrounding the financial prowess of candidates, political prognostications continue to swirl. The BJP, buoyed by its performance in the first phase, exudes confidence in its prospects for the upcoming polls. Vijaypal Singh Tomar, Odisha election-in-charge, boldly predicts a sweeping victory for the BJP, projecting wins in both Assembly and Lok Sabha seats.

(With Inputs from agencies)

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