Odisha Assembly Polls Phase 2: Over 32% of Candidates Face Criminal Cases

Bhubaneswar: In a concerning revelation, a report by Odisha Election Watch and the Association of Democratic Reforms (ADR) has highlighted the presence of candidates with pending criminal cases, including serious offences, contesting in the upcoming second phase of Assembly elections in Odisha scheduled for May 20.

The report states that out of the total 265 candidates, including 41 women, who have filed nominations for the 35 Assembly constituencies, a staggering 87 candidates have declared pending criminal cases against them in their affidavits. Alarmingly, 70 of these cases are classified as serious criminal offences.

The gravity of the situation is further highlighted by the fact that five candidates face murder charges, 16 are accused of attempted murder, and 11 are facing cases related to crimes against women. The political parties with the highest number of candidates with criminal cases are the BJP with 28, Congress with 17, and the ruling BJD with 9 candidates.

The ADR has designated 14 Assembly segments as “red alert” constituencies, where three or more contesting candidates have pending criminal cases against them. These constituencies are spread across the districts of Bargarh, Sundargarh, Balangir, Kandhamal and Aska Lok Sabha constituencies.

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