Of the 170 candidates in 25 constituencies in the sixth and final phase of the West Bengal Assembly polls in Purba Mednipur and Cooch Behar districts, 33, or 20 per cent, face criminal cases. A report released by the West Bengal Election Watch and Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) said 27, or 16 per cent, of the candidates were facing serious criminal cases such as murder, attempt-to-murder and crimes against women. The report is prepared on the basis of the self-sworn affidavits of the candidates. Six out of 25 candidates of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), nine out of 24 of the Trinamool Congress and three out of eight of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) face such serious charges. Four candidates have been charged under Section 302 (murder) and six under 307 (attempt to murder) of the Indian Penal Code. — Special Correspondent

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