As many as 256 multi-millionaires and 107 persons with declared criminal cases against them, including charges of murder, are among the 721 candidates in the fray for the second phase of the Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls.

According to election watchdog Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR), of the 107 candidates with criminal cases, 84 face serious charges like murder, attempt to murder and kidnapping.

The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) with 25 nominees tops the list of candidates with criminal antecedents followed by the Samajwadi Party with 21 and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) 16.

Fifteen constituencies in the second phase have been declared as "Red Alert Constituencies" - the ones which have three or more candidates in fray with declared criminal cases.

The BSP also heads the list of "crorepati" (multi-millionaire) candidates, with 58 of its nominees possessing wealth in excess of Rs 1 crore. The BJP has 50 such nominees, while the ruling Samajwadi Party has fielded 45 multi-millionaires.

BSP's Nawab Kazim Ali Khan, contesting from Suar constituency, is the richest of them all with declared assets in excess of Rs 97 crore.

The average assets of BSP candidates in fray in this phase is worth Rs 7.20 crore, followed by the BJP candidates with Rs 4.07 crore, the Samajwadi Party with Rs 3.43 crore and the Congress with Rs 3.37 crore.

BJP's Rajeev Singh, contesting from Dataganj, has the highest income among the candidates. His annual income is in excess of Rs 1.16 crore and has declared assets to the tune of Rs 14.45 crore.

On the flip side, three candidates, all Independents, have declared 'zero assets' in their self-sworn affidavits.

On the education front, 310 candidates are graduate or above, 277 have studied in schools and 11 of them are illiterate.

Of the 721 candidates in fray, 69 are female, while a there is also a nominee from the third gender.

Sixty-seven constituencies spread across 11 districts will go to polls on February 15 for the second phase of the staggered Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls.

As many as 92 political parties, including six national parties, six state parties and 80 unrecognised parties are in the fray, along with 206 Independent candidates.

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