Nineteen out of the 98 candidates in the fray for the first phase of the upcoming Lok Sabha elections from Odisha have criminal cases pending against them, according to an an analysis of the affidavits submitted by the candidates by Odisah Election Watch (OEW), which were released here on Wednesday. Of these 19 candidates, 13 have declared serious criminal case like murder, attempt to murder, dacoity and criminal intimidation pending against them, informed Ranjan Kumar Mohanty, state coordinator of Odisha Election Watch.
Mohanty said the affidavit of Das Charan Majhi of Jharkhand Discom Party from Sundargarh constituency could not be analysed due to unclear affidavit available on Election Commission of India (ECI) site. Listing those with multipleand serious IPC counts pressed against them, Mohanty informed that Narendra Mohanty of Aam Aadmi Party from Kandhamal Constituency has declared the highest of 28 cases against him. Out of the 28, three charges are related to murder (Section 302 of IPC), one attempt to murder (section 307 of IPC) and one dacoity with murder (section 396 of IPC).
Lambodar Kanhar, an Independent candidate from Kandhamal constituency ranks second with seven serious IPC counts against him followed by Sangeeta Kumari Singh Deo, wife of Kanak Vardhan Singh Deo, the state BJP president, of BJP from Bolangir constituency with three IPC counts against her. Kanhar has two charges related to attempt to murder against him.
The candidates having cases related to crimes against women were Lambodar Kanhar, Sukanta Kumar Panigrahi of BJP from Kandhamal constituency who has a case against him for assault and use of criminal force against a woman with the intent to outrage her modesty (section 354 of IPC) and Ashok Bisi of CPI from Bargarh constituency who has a case related to husband or relative of husband of a woman subjecting her to cruelty (section 498 (A) of IPC).
Counting party wise, 4 out of 10 candidates fielded by BJP, 1 out of 10 candidates from INC, 2 out of 10 of BJD, 3 out of 8 candidates of AAP, 1 out of 10 of BSP, 1 out of 1 candidate of CPI (M) and 2 out of 17 of Independent candidates have declared criminal cases against themselves in their affidavits.
Taking Red alert constituencies into account, two constituencies – Kalahandi and Kandhamal – have at least three candidates each from political parties with declared criminal cases against them.
Out of 97 candidates, 91 candidates are men and rest are women contesting the upcoming Lok Sabha polls. The data based on the self sworn affidavits of 97 candidates contesting the Lok Sabha polls submitted by the members of Association of Democratic Reforms (ADR) was analysed by Odisha Election Watch, Mohanty said.