At least 173 candidates contesting the Delhi municipal elections have criminal cases against them, states a report released by the Association of Democratic Reforms (ADR).

The ADR is an Ahmedabad based non-political group that analysed candidate assets, qualification, criminal cases before the MCD election. The ADR 2017 report analysed 2,315 candidates of which 173 had criminal cases.

At a time when safety of citizens, especially women, is major cause for concern, one of the candidates had been accused in a murder case, 15 have attempt to murder cases and 23 have cases of crimes against women.

The ADR report shows that the BJP has the most candidates (35) with pending criminal cases, followed by Congress at 21 and AAP at 13. Eighteen registered and recognized parties are contesting the election to be held on April 23.

Out of the 2,315 candidates analysed, 697 (30%) are crorepatis. The maximum number of crorepatis (163) are from the Congress. There are 141 crorepatis from the BJP and 104 in the Aam Aadmi Party.

An Independent woman candidate is the richest with financial assets worth Rs 82.70 crore. The ADR analyzed affidavits of 1,127 women and 1,118 men contesting in the election.

The report says 125 candidates are illiterates while 40 are ‘literates’ who can only read or write their names. Most candidates have studied till the 12th standard.

There are five candidates who have completed their PhD and hold doctorate degrees. The maximum number of illiterate candidates (19) have been fielded by the Bahujan Samaj Party.

Twenty-four candidates have not submitted any details about their educational qualifications in their affidavits.

Age of candidates

Most candidates (782) contesting the elections are between the ages of 41 and 50 years while 87 from all parties and independents are aged between 21 and 24 years. There are more than 10 candidates aged 21 years, making them the youngest contestants.

Seventy-four-year old Nawal Singh, an independent candidate, is the oldest in the list. There are nine candidates in their 70s. While there is no maximum age limit from contesting a municipal election, the minimum age is 21. In the assembly and general elections, the minimum age limit is 25.

Delhi will go to polls on April 23 to elect representatives to the three municipal corporations. The east, north and the south municipal corporations are presently run by the BJP, which won the polls in 2012.

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