Source: 
News Riveting
https://newsriveting.com/aap-ahead-in-fielding-candidates-with-criminal-records-in-gujarat/
Author: 
Date: 
24.11.2022
City: 
Ahmedabad

Among the key political parties trying its electorate fate in Gujarat, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) topped the list of candidates having criminal records.

Association of Democratic Reforms (ADR), a poll watchdog, analysed the candidates with criminal cases contesting Gujarat elections. Elections to the 182-member Gujarat Assembly will be held in two phases on December 1 and 5. The counting of votes will take place on December 8.

Out of 788 candidates analysed, who would be contesting the polls in the first phase, 167 (21 per cent) candidates have declared criminal cases against themselves. In 2017 Gujarat Assembly Elections Phase 1, out of 923 candidates analysed, 137 (15 per cent) had declared criminal cases against themselves.

The ADR report said 100 (13 per cent) have declared serious criminal cases against themselves. In 2017 Gujarat Assembly Elections phase 1, 78 (8 per cent) candidates had declared serious criminal cases against themselves. 

Among the major parties, 32 (36 per cent) out of 88 candidates analysed from AAP, 31 (35 per cent) out of 89 candidates analysed from Indian National Congress (INC), 14 (16 per cent) out of 89 candidates analysed from BJP and 4 (29 per cent) out of 14 candidates analysed from Bhartiya Tribal Party have declared criminal cases against themselves in their affidavits.

The report added that among the major parties, 26 (30 per cent) out of 88 candidates analysed from AAP, 18 (20 per cent) out of 89 candidates analysed from INC, 11 (12 per cent) out of 89 candidates analysed from BJP and 1 (7 per cent) out of 14 candidates analysed from Bhartiya Tribal Party have declared serious criminal cases against themselves in their affidavits.

“The directions of the Supreme Court have had no effect on the political parties in selection of candidates in Phase 1 of the Gujarat Assembly Elections as they have again followed their old practice of giving tickets to around 21 per cent candidates with criminal cases,” the ADR report said. 

All major parties contesting in Gujarat phase I elections have given tickets to 16 per cent to 36 per cent candidates who have declared criminal cases against themselves. The Supreme Court in its directions dated February 13, 2020 had specifically instructed political parties to give reasons for such selection and why other individuals without criminal antecedents could not be selected as candidates. 

As per these mandatory guidelines, the reasons for such selection has to be with reference to qualifications, achievements and merit of the candidate concerned. During the recent 6 State Assembly elections held in 2022, it was observed that political parties gave unfounded and baseless reasons like popularity of the person, does good social work, cases are politically motivated etc.

These are not sound and cogent reasons for fielding candidates with tainted backgrounds. This data clearly shows that political parties have no interest in reforming the electoral system and our democracy will continue to suffer at the hands of lawbreakers who become lawmakers.

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