Source: 
Daiji World
https://www.daijiworld.com/news/newsDisplay?newsID=1135059
Author: 
IANS
Date: 
30.10.2023
City: 
New Delhi

Out of the 174 candidates analysed, who are fighting for the 40-member Mizoram Assembly, seven have declared criminal cases against themselves, while 114 have assets more than Rs one crore, a report revealed on Monday.

The report has been prepared by the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) and Mizoram Election Watch which analysed the self-sworn affidavits of all 174 candidates, who are contesting in the Mizoram 2023 Assembly Elections.

It said that out of 174 candidates analysed, 67 are from national parties, 40 from state parties, 40 from registered unrecognized parties and 27 candidates are contesting independently.

"Out of the 174 candidates analysed, seven (four per cent) candidates have declared criminal cases against themselves," it said.

It said that in 2018 Mizoram Assembly Elections, out of 209 candidates analysed, nine (four per cent) had declared criminal cases against themselves. Seven candidates, who have declared criminal cases, have declared serious criminal cases.

In the 2018 Mizoram Assembly Elections, four (two per cent) candidates had declared serious criminal cases against themselves, it pointed out.

The report said that four (10 per cent) out of 40 candidates analysed from Zoram People’s Movement (ZPM), two (nine per cent) out of 23 candidates analysed from BJP, and one (three per cent) out of 40 candidates analysed from MNF have declared criminal cases against themselves in their affidavits.

The report stated, "Four (10 per cent) out of 40 candidates analysed from ZPM, two (nine per cent) out of 23 candidates analysed from BJP and one (three per cent) out of 40 candidates analysed from MNF have declared serious criminal cases against themselves in their affidavits.

"Out of the 174 candidates analysed, 114 (66 per cent) are crorepatis," the report said, highlighting that in 2018 Mizoram Assembly elections, out of 209 candidates, 116 (56 per cent) were crorepatis.

The report stated that the role of money power in our elections is evident from the fact that all political parties give tickets to wealthy candidates.

"Among the major parties 36 (90 per cent) out of 40 candidates analysed from MNF, 33 (83 per cent) out of 40 candidates analysed from Congress, 29 (73 per cent) out of 40 candidates analysed from ZPM, nine (39 per cent) out of 23 candidates analysed from BJP, one (25 per cent) out of four candidates analysed from AAP and six (22 per cent) out of 27 Independent candidates analysed have declared assets valued more than Rs one crore," the report stated.

It also pointed out that the average assets per candidate contesting in the Mizoram Assembly elections 2023 is Rs 4.90 crore.

"In 2018 Mizoram Assembly elections, average assets per candidate for 209 candidates was Rs 3.11 crore," the report said.

"Among parties, the average assets per candidate for 40 Congress candidates analysed is Rs 6.24 crore, 40 ZPM candidates analysed is Rs 6.05 crore, 40 MNF candidates have average assets of Rs 5.49 crore, 23 BJP candidates have average assets of Rs 5.09 crore and four AAP have average assets worth Rs 1.95 crore," the report said.

BJP's J.B. Rualchhinga, who is contesting from Lawngtlai West (ST) Assembly seat is the richest candidate in the state. He has declared assets worth Rs 90.32 crore. He is followed by Congress candidates from Serchhip (ST) Assembly seat R. Vanlaltluanga, who has declared assets to the tune of Rs 55.63 crore.

The ZPM's H. Ginzalala, who is contesting fromChamphai North (ST) Assembly seat has assets to the tune of Rs 36.09 crore, the report said.

Independent candidate Ramhlun-Edena, who is contesting from Serchhip (ST), has declared assets worth Rs 1,500, the report said.

The report also stated that 111 (64 per cent) candidates have declared liabilities in their affidavits. Congress candidate from Hachhek (ST) Assembly seat Lalrindika Ralte has declared liabilities worth Rs 3.82 crore as compared to his assets worth Rs 6.21 crore.

A total of 12 (seven per cent) candidates have not declared their PAN details.

The report further said that 43 (25 per cent) candidates have declared their educational qualifications to be between 5th and 12th Class while 128 (74 per cent) candidates have declared having an educational qualification of graduate or above. Two candidates are Diploma holders and one candidate is Illiterate, it said.

Meanwhile, 19 (11 per cent) candidates have declared their age to be between 31 to 40 years while 105 (60 per cent) candidates have declared their age to be between 41 to 60 years.There are 50 (29 per cent) candidates who have declared their age to be between 61 to 80 years.

The report said that 18 (10 per cent) female candidates are contesting in the Mizoram Assembly election 2023.

In 2018 Mizoram Assembly elections, 18(nine per cent) out of 209 candidates analysed were women, it highlighted.

The ADR recommended that to remedy the existing problem of criminalization is to immediately act upon the plausible solutions offered by various committees, civil society and citizens.

It said that the Supreme Court being the ultimate custodian of 'Justice and Rule of Law' should reprimand political parties and politicians for their complete lack of will, reprehensible predilection and absence of required laws.

It also recommended that the permanent disqualification of candidates convicted for heinous crimes like murder, rape, smuggling, dacoity, kidnapping, etc., disqualification of persons from contesting election to the public offices against whom charges have been framed for having committed serious criminal offences punishable by imprisonment of at least five years, and the case is filed at least six months prior to the election in question, cancellation of tax exemptions given to the political parties who field such tainted candidates.

The report also said that bringing political parties under the Right to Information Act, de-register and de-recognise any political party if it knowingly fields a candidate with a tainted background.

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