The Telegraph
Thursday , February 6 , 2014
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Crorepatis in RS poll fray

Bhubaneswar, Feb. 5: High-profile BJD leader and former minister A.U. Singh Deo does not own a car even though his and his spouse’s wealth runs into several crores.

What the five-time minister, a scion of Balangir royal family, owns is a 1934 model Cadillac car, which is more of a showpiece now.

This is according to the property list submitted by him to the authorities as he is a nominee of the BJD for the four Rajya Sabha seats. A comparison between the property lists given by him in 2009 and 2014 reveal that he had not acquired any four-wheeler during the period.

Singh Deo, who first time became a minister in the Nilamani Routray Government in 1977, had been in the forefront of the state politics. His father R.N. Singh Deo, a prominent leader of the Swatantra Party, was the chief minister of Odisha between 1967 and 1971. One of his sons, Kalikesh represents Balangir in the Lok Sabha. Singh Deo lives in a palatial building on a road named after his father in the city.

In 2009, Singh Deo and his spouse Vijay Laxmi Devi’s movable and immovable assets were worth a little over Rs 3.46 crore. In 2014, the combined asset of the two is Rs 11.58 crore. If you go by the declarations, his wife is richer than him.

Cricketer Ranjib Biswal’s passion for luxury cars is quite evident from his property declarations. Biswal, who had led Under-19 Indian cricket team and is the chairman of Indian Premier League (IPL), owned one Skoda Laura and a Chevrolet Optra in 2009 when he was a Congress candidate from the Kendrapara Lok Sabha seat. In 2014, he is the proud owner of a Ford Endeavour, a BMW and an Audi.

Incidentally, minister of textiles and handloom Sarojini Hembram owned a Maruti Alto in 2009 when she entered the Assembly for the first time. She has bought two more cars — a Maruti SX 4 and Bolero — in the past five years.

In 2009, her total movable and immovable assets were worth Rs 21.93 lakh. Her declaration on his husband’s properties remained silent. According to the current declaration, she has properties worth Rs 93.84 lakh and her husband nearly Rs 20 lakh.

Panchayati raj and parliamentary affairs minister Kalpataru Das’s movable and immovable assets jumped from Rs 16.64 lakh to around Rs 56.35 lakh.

The assets of his wife, Pratima Das, a retired primary school teacher, were Rs 97.90 lakh in 2009. At present, the amount stands at Rs 2.28 crore.

In 2009, neither Das nor his wife owned a vehicle. Now, he owns an XUV-500 Mahindra.

Eminent sculptor Raghunath Mohapatra, who has studied up to class IV and had served the government for 25 years, runs an art and craft centre in the city. The combined assets of Mohapatra and his spouse is nearly Rs 4.51 crore. He owns an Innova.