The Hindu

Around a fifth of the contesting candidates have criminal cases against them

For the third phase of the Lok Sabha polls, Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) and The National Election Watch analysed the self-sworn affidavits of all 1,352 contenting candidates and found that 244 (or 18%) of them have declared criminal cases against themselves, 172 of which have serious criminal cases against them. 38 candidates have cases related to crime against women and 24 have cases related to attempt to murder, as shown in the table below.

Around 30% of major State and national parties have criminal cases against them

Barring the candidates of the All India Trinamool Congress, all the major State parties have at least 30% of the phase 3 contesting candidates have criminal cases against them. The graph below shows the party-wise share of candidates who have criminal and serious criminal cases declared against them. Among the two major national parties, 27% and 38% candidates of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Indian National Congress (INC), respectively, have criminal cases against them.

The map below shows the percentage of candidates with criminal cases in each of the constituencies going on poll during the third phase. The top constituencies with the largest share of contesting candidates with criminal cases are Bijapur (50%), Fatehpur Sikri (45%), Araria (45%), Sangli (40%), and South Goa, Sangli and Madha (each with 37.5%).

The map below also shows the state-wise share of contesting candidates that have criminal cases against them. States with the highest share of candidates with criminal cases are Maharashtra (26%), Uttar Pradesh and Goa (25%), and Bihar (24%), and West Bengal (23%).

Over 85% of the contesting candidates of major parties are crorepatis

Of the total assets of candidates analysed among the national parties, over 94% of BJP and 88% of Congress candidates are crorepatis. Among major state parties, barring Samajwadi Party (SP), all parties’ candidates are crorepatis, as shown in the chart below.

The box plot below showcases the distribution of assets of candidates of major parties. Among the national parties, the median assets held by BJP candidates is the highest at ₹6.95 crores, while that of Congress candidates is ₹6.4 crores.

However, when it comes to candidates with criminal cases, the median of total assets held by Congress candidates is ₹8.6 crores, while those of BJP candidates is ₹4.4 crores. The plot below facets the total assets held by candidates of major parties by whether they are charged with criminal cases or not.

Majority of the independent candidates of each State have assets below ₹50 lakhs as shown in the box plot below.

The map below shows the share of contesting candidates who are crorepatis, constituency-wise. In 10 constituencies, at least 50% (or half the contesting candidates are crorepatis. These constituencies are: Surat (100%; only 1 contesting candidate), Bardoli (66.7%), Guwahati (62.5%), Hathras (60%), Araria (56%), Fatehpur Sikri (56%), Belgaum (54%), and Etah, Manipuri, and South Goa (each at 50%).

Over 35% of the constituencies during phase 3 have no female candidates

Out of the 94 constituencies on poll during phase 3, over 35% of them - or 34 constituencies, to be precise, have no female candidates contesting, similar to what was observed during the second phase. More so, 57 constituencies have 10% or fewer female candidates.  The map below shows the percentage of female candidates in the constituencies on poll during the third phase of the Lok Sabha elections.

From the major state parties that do have female candidates, the number of female candidates contesting are in single digits as shown in the bar chart below.

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