New Delhi, May 13 Of the 909 candidates contesting the seventh phase of the Lok Sabha elections, 170 (19 per cent) have criminal cases against them, while 127 (14 per cent) have declared serious criminal cases against their names, according to a report by the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR).
Among the major parties, 18 (42 per cent) of the 43 Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidates, 14 (31 per cent) of the 45 Congress candidates, 6 (15 per cent) of the 39 Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) candidates, 3 (21 per cent) of the 14 Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) candidates have declared criminal cases against their names. Of the 313 Independents, 29 (9 per cent) have criminal cases filed against them.
The National Election Watch and the ADR have analysed the self-sworn affidavits of 909 of the 918 candidates contesting the Lok Sabha elections in the seventh phase. Of the 909 candidates, 159 are from national parties, 68 from state parties, 369 from registered unrecognised parties and 313 are Independents.
Fifteen (35 per cent) of the 43 candidates from the BJP, 10 (22 per cent) of the 45 candidates from the Congress, four (10 per cent) of the 39 candidates from the BSP, one (14 per cent) of the 22 candidates from the AIADMK, 7 (29 per cent) of the 24 candidates from the DMK and one (7 per cent) of the 14 candidates from the AAP and 24 (8 per cent) out of 313 Independents have declared serious criminal cases against themselves.
In the seventh phase, 33 out of 59 constituencies are red alert constituencies. Red alert constituencies are those where three or more contesting candidates have declared criminal cases against themselves.
While 5 candidates have declared convicted cases against themselves, 12 have declared cases related to murder, 34 cases related to attempt to murder, and seven related to kidnapping with intent to secretly and wrongfully confine persons.
Twenty candidates have declared cases related to crime against women. Of them, two have declared cases related to rape. But 10 candidates have declared cases related to hate speech against themselves.
On the financial status of candidates, the ADR said 278 (31 per cent) candidates had assets worth Rs 1 crore and more.
Forty (89 per cent) of the 45 candidates are from the Congress, 36 (84 per cent) of the 43 candidates from the BJP, 11 (28 per cent) of the 39 candidates from the BSP, 9 (64 per cent) of the 14 candidates from the AAP and 59 (19 per cent) of the 313 Independents have declared assets worth more than Rs 1 crore.
The average assets per candidate contesting in the elections to be held on May 19 is Rs 4.61 crore.
Among major parties, the average assets per candidate for 45 Congress candidates is Rs 17.15 crores, for 43 BJP candidates it is Rs 9.82 crore, 39 BSP candidates have average assets of Rs 5.24 crore, and 14 AAP candidates have average assets of Rs 5.20 crore.
Siromani Akali Dal’s Harsimrat Kaur Badal (over Rs 217 crore) and Sukhbir Singh Badal (over Rs 217 crore) from Punjab’s Bathinda and Firozpur constituencies, respectively, are among three high asset candidates along with Ramesh Kumar Sharma of the Congress(over Rs 1,107 crore) in Patliputra seatuency of Bihar.
On the other hand, Congress candidate from Punjab’s Sangur, Pappu Kumar, along with Shiv Charan of the Jai Hind Party from UP’s Maharajganj and Sunil Kumar Pandey of the Congress from UP’s Salempur are the candidates who have declared zero assets.