Press Release: Odisha Assembly Elections 2024 Phase III: Analysis of Criminal Background, Financial, Education, Gender and other Details of Candidates

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May 18, 2024, 3:22:59 AMMay 18
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Press Release
Date: May 18, 2024

Dear Friends,
The Odisha Election Watch and Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) have analysed the self-sworn affidavits of 381 out of 383 candidates, who are contesting in the Odisha Assembly Elections 2024 Phase III. 


Summary and Highlights

image.png

Criminal Background

  • Candidates with Criminal Cases: Out of 381 candidates analyzed, 100 (26%) candidates have declared criminal cases against themselves.
  • Candidates with Serious Criminal Cases: 86(23%) have declared serious criminal cases against themselves.
  • Candidates with cases related to Murder:  4 candidates have declared cases related to murder (IPC Section -302) against themselves.
  • Candidates with cases related to Attempt to Murder: 26 candidates have declared cases related to attempt to murder (IPC Section 307) against themselves.
  • Candidates with cases related to Crime Against Women: 28 candidates have declared cases related to crime against women. Out of 28 candidates 2 candidates have declared charges related to rape (IPC Section-376).
  • Party wise Candidates with Criminal Cases: Among the major parties,2(100%) out of 2 candidates analysed from CPI(M), 26(62%) out of 42 candidates analysed from BJP, 15 (36%) out of 42 candidates analysed from BJD and 15 (36%) out of 42 candidates analysed from INC have declared criminal cases against themselves in their affidavits.
  • Party wise Candidates with Serious Criminal Cases: Among the major parties, 23(55%) out of 42 candidates analysed from BJP, 1(50%) out of 2 candidates analysed from CPI(M), 13 (31%) out of 42 candidates analysed from INC and 12 (29%) out of 42 candidates analysed from BJD have declared serious criminal cases against themselves in their affidavits.

image.png
Figure: Party Wise Percentage of Candidates with Criminal Cases

  • Red Alert Constituencies*: 19(45%) out of 42 constituencies are red alert constituencies. Red alert constituencies are those where 3 or more contesting candidates have declared criminal cases against themselves.
  • The directions of the Supreme Court have had no effect on the political parties in selection of candidates in the Odisha Assembly Elections Phase III as they have again followed their old practice of giving tickets to around 26% candidates with criminal cases.  All major parties contesting in Odisha Elections Phase 3 have given tickets from 36 % to 100 % candidates who have declared criminal cases against themselves. The Supreme Court in its directions dated 13th February, 2020 had specifically instructed political parties to give reasons for such selection and why other individuals without criminal antecedents could not be selected as candidates. As per these mandatory guidelines, the reasons for such selection has to be with reference to qualifications, achievements and merit of the candidate concerned. During the recent 5 State Assembly elections held in 2023, it was observed that political parties gave unfounded and baseless reasons like popularity of the person, does good social work, cases are politically motivated etc. These are not sound and cogent reasons for fielding candidates with tainted backgrounds. This data clearly shows that political parties have no interest in reforming the electoral system and our democracy will continue to suffer at the hands of lawbreakers who become lawmakers. 


Financial Background


image.png

Figure: Share of Wealth among the Contesting Candidates

  • Share of wealth among candidates: The share of wealth amongst the candidates contesting in the Odisha assembly elections 2024 Phase III is as follows:

Value of assets (Rs.)

Number of candidates

Percentage of Candidates

Rs. 5 crores and above

53

13.91%

Rs. 2 crores to Rs. 5 crores

35

9.19%

Rs. 50 lakhs to Rs. 2 crores

81

21.26%

Rs. 10 lakhs to Rs. 50 lakhs

89

23.36%

less than Rs. 10 lakhs

123

32.28%

Table: Share of wealth amongst contesting candidates

  • Crorepati Candidates: Out of the 381 candidates, 126 (33%) are crorepatis.
  • Party wise Crorepati Candidates: The role of money power in our elections is evident from the fact that all major political parties give tickets to wealthy candidates. Among the major parties 36(86%) out of 42 candidates analysed from BJD, 29(69%) out of 42 candidates analysed from INC, 28(67%) out of 42 candidates analysed from BJP and 4(33%) out of 12 candidates analysed from AAP have declared assets valued more than Rs 1 crore.

image.png
Figure: Party Wise Percentage of Crorepati Candidates

  • Average assets: The average of assets per candidate contesting in the Odisha Assembly Elections 2024 Phase III is Rs 3.47 Crore.  
  • Party wise average assets: Among major parties, the average assets per candidate for 42 BJD candidates analysed is Rs. 11.33 Crores, 42 BJP candidates analysed are Rs 6.97 Crores, 42 INC candidates have average assets of Rs 4.58 Crores, 12 AAP candidates have average assets of Rs 1.13 Crores and 2 CPI(M) candidates have average assets worth Rs. 17.12 Lakhs.
  • High asset candidates: The details of top 3 candidates with highest declared assets, contesting in the Odisha Assembly Elections Phase III are given below:

S.No.

Name

District

Constituency

Party Name

Movable Assets (Rs)

Immovable Assets (Rs)

Total Assets (Rs)

PAN Given

1

Sanatan Mahakud

Keonjhar

Champua

BJD

1,86,76,12,601

40,91,50,000

2,27,67,62,601
 227 Crore+

Y

2

Soumya Ranjan Patnaik

Keonjhar

Ghasipura

IND

80,15,53,147

42,70,62,500

1,22,86,15,647
 122 Crore+

Y

3

Pratyusha Rajeshwari Singh

Nayagarh

Nayagarh

BJP

8,29,08,172

1,12,27,66,007

1,20,56,74,179
 120 Crore+

Y

Table: Top three candidates with highest declared assets

  • Low assets candidates: The details of three candidates with lowest assets are as follows:

S.No.

Name

District

Constituency

Party Name

Movable Assets (Rs)

Immovable Assets (Rs)

Total Assets (Rs)

PAN Given

1

Kailash Chandra Nayak

Cuttack

Baramba

Samruddha Odisha

1,000*

0

1,000
 1 Thou+

Y

2

Sukanta Ghadai

Puri

Brahmagiri

IND

2,000*

0

2,000
 2 Thou+

Y

3

Gopinath Nayak

Khordha

Bhubaneswar North (Uttar)

CPI(ML) Red Star

2,000

0

2,000
 2 Thou+

N

Table: Candidates with declared lowest assets

* On assets value indicates that the candidate has not provided the total in their affidavits, it has been calculated on the basis of details provided by them in the same 

  • Candidates with high liabilities: 207(54%) candidates have declared liabilities in their affidavits. The details of top three candidates with highest liabilities are given below:

S.No.

Name

District

Constituency

Party Name

Total Assets (Rs)

Liabilities (Rs)

PAN Given

1

Soumya Ranjan Patnaik

Keonjhar

Ghasipura

IND

1,22,86,15,647
 122 Crore+

1,06,21,42,653
 106 Crore+

Y

2

Sudhir Kumar Samal

Dhenkanal

Dhenkanal

BJD

31,09,94,308
 31 Crore+

9,36,81,330
 9 Crore+

Y

3

Susant Kumar Rout

Khordha

Bhubaneswar North (Uttar)

BJD

21,68,16,709
 21 Crore+

8,17,84,485
 8 Crore+

Y

 Table: Top three candidates with highest liabilities 

  • Candidates with high income as declared in the ITR*: The details of top 3 candidates with high income declared in ITR are given below:

S.No.

Name

Party Name

Constituency

District Name

Total Asset (Rs)

Self Source of Income

Spouse's Source of Income

The financial year for which the last income tax return has been filed by candidate

Total income shown by candidate in ITR (Self+Spouse+Dependent) (Rs)

Self income shown by candidate in ITR (Rs)

1

Purna Chandra Mahapatra

BJP

Barabati-Cuttack

Cuttack

39,34,46,147  

39 Crore+

House Rent, Profession & Bank Interest

Salary, House Rent, Business & Profession & Bank Interest

2022-2023

5,05,04,680  

5 Crore+

1,55,49,840  

1 Crore+

2

Sudhir Kumar Samal

BJD

Dhenkanal

Dhenkanal

31,09,94,308  

31 Crore+

Business, Remuneration, Rental Income & Income from Other Sources

Business, Remuneration, Rental Income & Income from Other Sources

2022-2023

2,76,99,560  

2 Crore+

79,68,450 

 79 Lacs+

3

Soumya Ranjan Patnaik

IND

Ghasipura

Keonjhar

1,22,86,15,647  

122 Crore+

Business, MLA Salary, Allowance

Business

2023-2024

1,80,19,660  

1 Crore+

1,13,95,041 

 1 Crore+

 Table: Top 3 candidates with highest income as declared in ITR

Other Background Details
  • Education details of candidates: 155(41%) candidates have declared their educational qualifications to be between 5th and 12th standard while 210(55%) candidates have declared having an educational qualification of graduate or above. 12 candidates are Diploma holders. 2 candidates have declared themselves to be just literate and 2 candidates are Illiterates.
  • Age details of candidates: 94(25%) candidates have declared their age to be between 25 to 40 years while 226 (59%) candidates have declared their age to be between 41 to 60 years.  There are 60(16%) candidates who have declared their age to be between 61 to 80 years. 1 candidate has declared his age as 83 years.
  • Gender details of candidates: 44(12%) female candidates are contesting in the Odisha assembly election 2024 Phase III.  
Recommendations of ADR
  •  To remedy the existing problem of criminalization is to immediately act upon the plausible solutions offered by various committees, civil society and citizens. The Supreme Court of India being the ultimate custodian of “Justice and Rule of Law” should reprimand political parties and politicians for their complete lack of will, reprehensible predilection and absence of required laws. 
  • Permanent disqualification of candidates convicted for heinous crimes like murder, rape, smuggling, dacoity, kidnapping etc.
  • Disqualification of persons from contesting elections to the public offices against whom charges have been framed for having committed serious criminal offences punishable by imprisonment of at least 5 years, and the case is filed at least 6 months prior to the election in question.
  • Cancellation of tax exemptions given to the political parties who field such tainted candidates.
  • Bringing political parties under the Right to Information Act.  
  • De-register and de-recognise any political party if it knowingly puts up a candidate with a tainted background.
  • Political party should annually file the information on criminal antecedents of their Office Bearers and make such records available to the public, including NIL records.
  • Disqualification of candidates furnishing false information in the election affidavit (Form 26).  
  • Ensure trial of cases in which the politicians are accused to be concluded in a time bound manner.
  • Implementation of SC judgment dated 23rd September, 2013 (i.e provision of NOTA buttons on the EVMs) in its letter and spirit by ensuring a) if NOTA gets more votes than any of the candidates, none of the candidates should be declared elected, and a fresh election should be held; b) in the fresh election, none of the candidates in the earlier election, in which NOTA got the highest number of votes, should be allowed to contest.
  • Implementation of the 25th September, 2018 and 13th February, 2020 SC orders on 'publication of criminal cases against candidates selected by political parties along with reasons for such selection' in its letter and spirit by directing the Election Commission of India ato list out names of such tainted candidates selected by the political parties along with such reasons for such selection C8 including diligent publication of reasons in newspapers, T.V channels, party website etc, b) strict and constant reminders by ROs to the defaulters, c) list needs to be religiously prepared and submitted to the Supreme Court after every election, d) uploading of this list on ECI’s website for public inspection, e) a suitably heavy financial penalty levied on political parties for making insufficient disclosures, invalid and common reasons, selection of candidates based on winnability and f) Officer in-charge of a political party pertaining to submission of a compliance report should also be held accountable for such a breach. 
  • The Election Commission of India and all State Election Commissions should make it mandatory in all elections; Parliamentary, Assembly and Local Body elections to carry display boards outside each and every polling booth showing a summarised version of candidates’ affidavits. The polling booths should essentially display details of candidate’s criminal records, assets and liabilities and education qualification.  
  • The Election Commission of India under its ‘Systematic Voters’ Education and Electoral Participation’ (SVEEP) as well as through other national campaigns on voter awareness held before every election should inform and aware the voters that (i) taking and giving cash or gifts/freebies for votes is a criminal offense, (ii) such instances should be brought to the notice of the ECI through its web application, (iii) inform voters that information on criminal records of candidates is available on the ECI website, outside polling booths and other sources that the ECI may use.
  • Political parties in India should be required to announce/publish the list of candidates contesting elections at least 3 months prior to elections.
  • Role of money and muscle power is evident from the fact that all major political parties in Odisha Assembly Elections 2024 Phase III have fielded 33% to 86% candidates who are crorepatis and 36% to 100 % candidates who have declared criminal cases against themselves. This close and alarming nexus between money power and muscle power has got so ingrained in our electoral system that the citizens are left hostage to the current situation.  Money and muscle power hurt the principles of 'free and fair elections', 'participatory democracy' and 'level playing field'.  The present circumstances therefore demand an extensive deliberation by the voters so that sanctity of elections is not ridiculed by tenacious entry of tainted candidates and candidates with abnormal multiplication of assets.

Contact Details

 

Odisha Election Watch


 

Association for Democratic Reforms/National Election Watch

 

Media and Journalist Helpline

 

+91 80103 94248

Email: a...@adrindia.org

Maj.Gen. Anil Verma (Retd)

Head

Association for Democratic Reforms,

National Election Watch

011 4165 4200

a...@adrIndia.org,

anil...@adrindia.org

 

Prof Jagdeep Chhokar

IIM Ahmedabad (Retd.)

Founder Member,

Association for Democratic Reforms,

National Election Watch

jchh...@gmail.com

Prof Trilochan Sastry

IIM Bangalore

Founder Member,

Association for Democratic Reforms,

National Election Watch

tsa...@gmail.com



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