The third phase of the elections will be held on May 7. Among the 244 candidates with criminal records, five face charges related to murder while 24 have been booked in cases of attempted murder…reports Asian Lite News

Only 9 per cent of the 1,352 candidates contesting in the third phase of the Lok Sabha elections are women while 18 per cent have declared criminal cases against themselves, the ADR said in a new report.

Seven candidates have also declared prior convictions, according to an analysis of details of candidates contesting the elections in the third phase by the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) and The National Election Watch.

The third phase of the elections will be held on May 7. Among the 244 candidates with criminal records, five face charges related to murder while 24 have been booked in cases of attempted murder.

Additionally, 38 candidates have been linked to crimes against women and 17 declared cases related to hate speech.

The analysis, based on the self-sworn affidavits of the 1,352 candidates, has shed light on trends in criminality and wealth accumulation among political aspirants.

The prevalence of criminal cases varies significantly across major political parties, with figures highlighting concerning trends among candidates from prominent parties such as the the BJP, Congress and the Samajwadi Party.

The report also highlighted the disparity in the candidates’ financial backgrounds. It disclosed that 29 per cent or 392 candidates are “crorepatis”, with the average assets per candidate standing at a substantial Rs 5.66 crore.

The top three candidates in terms of declared assets possess wealth ranging into hundreds of crores, with the highest declared assets surpassing Rs 1,361 crore.

Since filing of the nominations and the affidavits, the Congress nominee from Indore has withdrawn his candidature. The analysis also delves into the educational and demographic backgrounds of the candidates.

The report indicates that 47 per cent or 639 candidates have educational qualifications from classes 5 to 12 while 44 per cent or 591 are graduates or possess higher educational qualifications. Agewise, 30 per cent or 411 candidates fall within the 25-40 years bracket while 53 per cent or 712 are aged between 41 and 60.

The report also highlights gender disparity in candidate selection with only 9 per cent or 123 women contesting the elections in the third phase.

In response to these findings, the ADR has proposed stringent measures to address the criminalisation of politics, including permanent disqualification of candidates convicted of heinous crimes and cancellation of tax exemptions for political parties fielding “tainted” candidates.

The report underscored the pressing need for accountability and transparency within India’s political landscape, emphasising the importance of electoral reforms to uphold the integrity of the democratic process.

36 out of 266 LS poll candidates in Gujarat face criminal cases

Thirty six out of the 266 candidates for the Lok Sabha polls in Gujarat have criminal cases against them, with some also facing attempt to murder and dacoity charges, as per an analysis of their affidavits by the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR).

Elections to 25 out of the 26 Lok Sabha seats in Gujarat will be held on May 7. The BJP candidate from Surat seat has already been declared elected unopposed.

“Out of the 266 candidates, 36, or 14 per cent, have criminal charges against them, as per details provided by them in the affidavits. Out of them, 21, or 8 per cent, have serious criminal cases against them,” ADR’s Gujarat coordinator Pankti Jog told reporters here on Monday.

Serious criminal cases are those which attract a maximum punishment of 5 years or more, are non-bailable, related to murder, rape, kidnapping, bribery, assault, causing loss to the exchequer, crimes against women, hate speech, and offences under the Prevention of Corruption Act, she said.

Among the major parties, out of the 25 BJP candidates, four, or 15 per cent, have criminal cases against them, with two facing serious charges, as per the data of ADR, which is an electoral reform advocacy group.

Out of the 23 Congress candidates, six, or 26 per cent, are named in criminal cases, with three facing serious charges, showed the ADR analysis of the Election Commission data.

Tribal leaders Anant Patel and Dilip Vasava, contesting from Valsad and Bharuch seats respectively, are facing cases on charges of attempt to murder.

Patel is the Congress candidate, while Vasava is the Bharat Adivasi Party nominee. Aam Aadmi Party candidate Chaitar Vasava and independent nominee Ismail Patel, both constesting from Bharuch seat, have the highest number of 13 criminal cases each against them.

The cases against Chaitar Vasava include of dacoity, sexual harassment, abetment of suicide and hate speech, as per the ADR data.

Ismail Patel is facing various charges including dacoity, forgery and voluntarily causing hurt.

Out of the total 118 independent candidates, 18 have criminal cases against them, with 11 facing serious charges, the ADR said showed. Anant Patel is also accused in cases of attempt to murder, dacoity and voluntarily causing hurt. In one case, he was also convicted and fined Rs 99.

Dilip Vasava, who is facing the charge of attempt to murder, was sentenced to three years imprisonment in 2016. He has filed an appeal against the court order which is currently pending, the data showed. Chaitar Vasava was sentenced to 6-month imprisonment and fined Rs 1,000 in one of the cases. Independent candidate from Kheda seat, Hitesh Parmar, is facing charges of stalking and criminal intimidation, according to the data.

Congress’ Banaskantha seat candidate Geniben Thakor has a case pending related to abetment of suicide, said the data.

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