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Election ringside: Crorepatis at play
- Actors, sports icons & scions in poll battle

Bhubaneswar, March 21: A number of crorepatis have thrown their hats into the poll ring this time. Among them are film stars, sports icons and royal scions.

The total worth of moveable and immovable assets of film star-turned-politician Siddhant Mohapatra, the BJD candidate from Berhampur Lok Sabha seat, has jumped from Rs 48.88 lakh in 2009 to Rs 1.55 crore now.

In 2009, he had moveable assets worth Rs 10.38 lakh and immovable assets totalling Rs 38.50 lakh. But in 2014, his moveable assets have gone up to Rs 55.99 lakh and immovable assets have touched Rs 95 lakh, according to the affidavit filed by him with the returning officer.

The film star is the owner of a home gym valued at Rs 2,23,650 and flaunts a fleet of four-wheelers, including a Skoda car, a Toyata Qualis, a Maruti Swift and a Hyundai, apart from a Harley Davidson bike.

Former Hockey India skipper Dillip Tirkey, who has been fielded by the BJD from Sundargarh Lok Sabha constituency, is also a crorepati. While his moveable assets are valued at Rs 79.34 lakh, his immovable assets are worth nearly Rs 5.78 crore.

The scions of Balangir royal family, contesting on the tickets of various political parties, are also in the crorepati bracket. The BJP candidate for Balangir Lok Sabha seat, Sangeeta Singh Deo, is a crorepati boasting, among other things, of gold jewellery worth Rs 15 lakh. Her BJD rival and brother-in-law, Kalikesh Singh Deo, is also worth more than Rs 2 crore, with his assets, including land at Gurgaon, a share in an apartment at Vasanta Vihar in Delhi and shares in houses in Bhubaneswar and Balangir.

However, another member of the local royal family, Prakriti Devi Singh Deo, who is contesting against her own brother-in-law, K.V. Singh Deo from Patnagarh on a BJD ticket, had total assets worth Rs 17,55,906, perhaps the poorest among the blue-blooded candidates in the fray from Balangir.

“The number of crorepatis contesting the polls will be around 20 this time. We will know the exact figures after the nominations are over,” said an official of the state electoral office.

While filing of nominations continued today, the BJD is yet to announce names of four Lok Sabha and 41 Assembly candidates. A number of party leaders today met the chief minister at Naveen Nivas. The four Lok Sabha seats where the names are to be announced are Bhubaneswar, Jajpur, Jagatsinghpur and Keonjhar.

In another development, the BJP today announced change of candidates on five Assembly seats. The party has replaced Subash Panigrahi from Deogarh Assembly seat with the scion of the Deogarh royal family, Nitesh Gangdev, who recently joined the party after quitting the Congress.

The party has also replaced Birendra Tahal with Sarat Chandra Behera on Khallikote Assembly seat, Hitesh Bagarti with Duryodhan Majhi in Khariar, Manoj Behera with Pramod Behera in Daspalla and Anirudha Pradhan with Artatrana Mahapatra in Narla.

Bagarti had declined to contest elections on health grounds after the party announced his name, while Duryodhan Majhi joined the BJP after being denied a ticket to contest elections by the BJD. Duryodhan joined the party at the recent BJP rally at Sambalpur.

In yet another development, Odisha Jana Morcha (OJM) president Pyari Mohan Mohapatra today announced the names of party candidates for two Lok Sabha and 42 assembly seats for the first phase polls.

The Congress, on the other hand, released names of candidates for the three Lok Sabha seats. While sitting MP Sanjay Bhoi has been re-nominated from Bargarh, Sangram Jena, a new face, has been fielded from the Bhadrak Lok Sabha seat. Sangram is the son of PCC chief Jaydev Jena. The CPI turncoat, Bibhu Prasad Tarai, has been fielded by the party from Jagatsinghpur Lok Sabha seat, which he held earlier.


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