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Out of the 223 candidates contesting in Chhattisgarh Assembly Elections Phase I, who were analysed, 26 (12 per cent) have declared criminal cases, according to a report by the Chhattisgarh Election Watch and the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR).

Twenty-six out of the 223 candidates contesting the first phase of the Chhattisgarh assembly elections are facing criminal cases, and 16 of them have serious charges, including those related to voluntarily causing hurt and criminal intimidation, against them, according to a report by the Chhattisgarh Election Watch and the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR).

The report revealed that out of the 223 candidates analysed, 26 (12 per cent) have declared criminal cases.

Chhattisgarh is all set to go to polls in two phases. Twenty of the total 90 assembly seats will go to polls in the first phase on November 7, while the remaining 70 constituencies will vote on November 17.

Chhattisgarh election Phase- I candidates with criminal charges:

Five (25 per cent) of the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party’s 20 candidates are facing criminal cases, followed by the ruling Congress with two (10 per cent) of its 20 candidates, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) with four (40 per cent) of 10 candidates and the Janata Congress Chhattisgarh (J) with three (20 per cent) of 15 candidates, among others.

The report further stated that five (25 per cent) out of the 20 constituencies in the first phase of Chhattisgarh assembly elections will see three or more candidates with criminal cases – Kanker (ST), Chitrakot (ST), Khairagarh, Pandariya and Kawardha seats. These have been called as the ‘red alert constituencies’.

BJP candidates Vijay Sharma (Kawardha seat), Vikrant Singh (Khairagarh), Vinayak Goyal (Chitrakot-ST), Asharam Netam (Kanker-ST) and Soyam Mukka (Sukma-ST) have declared criminal cases, the report said.

Among others, Shankar Dhruwa (Kanker-ST) and Neelu (Neelkanth), Chandravanshi (Pandariya) of the Congress, the AAP’s Narendra Bhavani (Jagdalpur), Komal Hupendi (Bhanupratappur), Bomdha Mandavi (Chitrakot) and Khagdraj Singh (Kawardha) and Ravi Chandravanshi (Pandariya), Lucky Mangal Netam (Khairagarh) and Sonsay Kashyap (Bastar) of the JCC (J) have declared criminal cases, it stated.

Chhattisgarh election Phase- I crorepati candidates:

The report revealed that a total of 11 (5 per cent) candidates have wealth more than 5 crores and above, 18 (8 per cent) have assets worth two-five crores, 38 (17 per cent) have assets worth 50 lakh-2 crores, 50 (22 per cent) with assets worth 10 lakhs-50 lakhs, and 106 (48 per cent) candidates with assets less than Rs 10 lakhs.

Out of the 223 candidates, 46 (21 per cent) are crorepatis. Among the major parties 17 (85 per cent) out of 20 candidates analysed from Congress, 14 (70 per cent) out of 20 candidates analysed from BJP, 3 (30 per cent) out of 10 candidates analysed from AAP and 2 (13 per cent) out of 15 candidates analysed from Janta Congress Chhattisgarh (J) have declared assets valued more than Rs 1 crore, the ADR report stated.

BJP leader and former Chief Minister Raman Singh, who has been fielded from the Rajnandgaon constituency, which goes to polls in first phase has declared assets worth Rs 15 crore, according to the report.

Average assets

The average of assets per candidate contesting in the phase I elections in the state is Rs 1.34 crores. Among major parties, the average asset per candidate for 20 BJP candidates analysed is Rs 5.33 crore, 20 Congress candidates analysed is Rs 5.27 crore, 10 AAP candidates have average assets of Rs 4.45 crore.

Richesh candidates

Contesting in the first phase election, the richest candidate is Khadgraj Singh, from AAP contesting from Kawardha seat. He has declared assets worth over Rs 40 crore. Bhawma Bohra, contesting from Pandariya seat as BJP candidate has declared assets worth Rs 33 crore, and Jateen Jaiswal, Congress candidate from Jagdalpur seat has declared assets worth Rs 16 crore, the ADR report said.

Candidates with zero assets

Two candidates who have declared zero assets are Parwati Teta contesting in Azad Janta Party ticket from Kanker -ST constituency, and Nagesh Puram contesting from ST-dominated constituency Mohla-Manpur in Janta Congress Chhattisgarh (J) ticket.

Chhattisgarh election Phase- I Candidates’ Educational Qualifications:

A total of 115 (52 per cent) candidates have declared their educational qualifications to be between 5th and 12th standard while 97 (43 per cent) candidates have declared having an educational qualification of graduate or above. Five candidates are Diploma holders, while four candidates have declared themselves to be just literate and 1 candidate is Illiterate.

One candidate has not given his educational qualification, the ADR report said.

A total of 25 (11 per cent) female candidates are contesting in the Chhattisgarh assembly election 2023 Phase I.

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