Source: 
News18
https://www.news18.com/news/elections/21-candidates-in-phase-i-of-gujarat-elections-have-criminal-cases-most-of-them-from-aap-report-6460291.html
Author: 
Nivedita Singh
Date: 
24.11.2022
City: 
New Delhi

At least 167 candidates in the first phase of Gujarat elections are facing criminal charges. Among the political parties, AAP has 32 candidates with criminal cases against them, a new ADR report shows

About 21% candidates in the first phase of the Gujarat Assembly polls, which will start on December 1, are facing criminal charges, and most of them belong to the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), a new report from the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) shows.

The Gujarat Election Watch and the ADR have analysed the self-sworn affidavits of all 788 candidates who are contesting in the first phase in 89 constituencies. At least 28% of the total constituencies, that is, 25 seats, are ‘red alert’– where three or more contesting candidates have declared criminal cases against themselves.

“Out of 788 candidates analysed, 167 (21%) candidates have declared criminal cases against themselves. In the 2017 Gujarat Assembly Elections Phase 1, out of 923 candidates analysed, 137 (15%) had declared criminal cases against themselves,” the report said.

Further, 100 (13%) candidates have declared serious criminal cases as against 78 in the Phase 1 of the 2017 Gujarat Assembly Elections.

This time, at least nine candidates have declared cases related to crime against women and three are facing cases related to murder. A total of 12 candidates are facing cases related to attempt to murder (IPC Section-307).

The report further shows that among the major parties, 32 (36%) out of 88 candidates are from AAP, 31 (35%) from the Congress and 14 (16%) from the BJP have declared criminal cases in their affidavits. Further, 26 from AAP, 18 from Congress and 11 from BJP have declared serious criminal cases against themselves. At least 61 Independents are facing criminal charges and 35 are facing serious criminal cases.

MORE CROREPATIS IN THE FRAY

Out of the 788 candidates, 211 (27%) are crorepatis as compared to 198 (21%) in the 2017 Gujarat Assembly Elections Phase 1.

“The role of money power in our elections is evident from the fact that all major political parties give tickets to wealthy candidates,” the report said, adding 79 from BJP, 65 from Congress and 33 from AAP have declared assets valued more than Rs 1 crore.

The report also says the average of assets per candidate contesting in the Gujarat Assembly Elections 2022 Phase I is Rs 2.88 crore, up from Rs 2.16 crore in 2017.

The average assets per candidate for BJP candidates is Rs 13.40 crore, for Congress it is Rs 8.38 crore and for AAP it is Rs 1.99 crore.

SLIGHTLY MORE WOMEN THIS TIME

A total of 69 females – 9% of the total candidates – are contesting the first phase, up from 57 in 2017.

The ADR report suggested that about 62% (492) candidates have declared their educational qualifications to be between Class 5 and 12 while 185 (23%) have declared having an educational qualification of graduate or above. A total of 21 candidates are diploma holders and 53 candidates have declared themselves to be just literate while 37 are illiterate.

“277 (35%) candidates have declared their age to be between 25 to 40 years while 431 (55%) candidates have declared their age to be between 41 to 60 years. There are 79 (10%) candidates who have declared their age to be between 61 to 80 years and 1 candidate has declared he is more than 80 years old,” the report said.

Gujarat is going for polls in two phases on December 1 and 5. The results will be declared on December 8.

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