Odisha Vidhan Sabha Election 2019: It will be difficult for Odisha voters to choose their MLAs with a clean record as all three leading parties: BJD, BJP and the Congress have fielded large number of candidates with criminal cases.
Odisha Assembly Election 2019: Choosing right candidate with a clean record will not be easy for Odisha voters this time as every third candidate in the first phase of assembly election has a criminal record. Of the total 189 candidats analysed by election watchdog Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR), 55 or 29% candidates have declared criminal cases and two third (35) of them have serious criminal offences like rape and murder listed against them.
Rahul Gandhi led Congress party has fielded maximum candidates with criminal record in the first phase. Nearly 60% of the total 27 Congress candidates analysed by the election watchdog ADR have declared criminal cases pending against them in their election affidavits, and 10 Congress candidates have serious criminal cases pending against them like rape, murder and other such cases that attract jail sentence of five years or more.
In the first phase of Odisha assembly election, nearly 40% (11 of 28) candidates fielded by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s party BJP have declared criminal cases pending against them, and more than two-third (8 of 11) have declared serious criminal cases listed against them like rape, murder and other such cases that attract jail term of five years or more.
Ruling party in the state, Naveen Patnaik led Biju Janata Dal is at the third position in terms of giving tickets to candidates with criminal record. Nine of the total 28 candidates fielded by the BJD have declared criminal cases pending against them, that is one in every three candidates. And two third of the BJD candidates with criminal background have been accused of committing serious crimes like rape, murder and other such offences that attract minimum imprisonment of five years or more.
Mayawati’s Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), which is the fourth leading player in the state, has fielded 22 candidates in the first phase of Odisha assembly election and two BSP candidates have criminal record. And one BSP candidate has declared serious offences listed against him.
Odisha state assembly election will be conducted in four phases. The voting will take place on April 11 and May 18, 23 and 29 for the 147 member Odisha assembly. 28 assembly seats will vote in the first phase on April 11, followed by 35 more seats on May 18 and voting will take place in 42 seats each in the third and fourth phase on May 23 and 29.
Ruling BJD has complete domination in the outgoing assembly as nearly 80% MLAs, 117 of total 147 are from the ruling BJD. Congress leads the opposition pack with 16 MLAs, followed by BJP which has 10 MLAs and SKD and CPM each have one and there are two independent MLAs in the house.