New Delhi

Of the 583 candidates contesting in the first phase of Bihar assembly elections, 174 have criminal and 130 have ‘serious’ criminal cases – including murder and crimes against women – against them, while 146 are ‘crorepatis’, a recent study has found.

In the study conducted by the Bihar Election Watch and Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR), the signed affidavits of all the candidates were analysed.

Sixteen candidates have declared murder cases against themselves. Pradeep Kumar of the Janata Dal – United (JD(U))from Warsaliganj constituency has declared four murder charges, while others have one each.

Eleven candidates have declared cases related to crimes against women -- ranging from rape to dowry death, while two candidates have cases of causing communal disharmony against them.

“Shakuni Choudhary of Hindustani Awam Morcha (Secular) from Tarapur constituency has declared a case related to injuring or defiling place of worship with intent to insult the religion of any class (IPC Section-295). Rambalak Singh of JD(U) from Bibhutipur constituency has declared a case related to promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, etc., and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony (IPC Section-153A),” the study said.

The five-phase Bihar elections will be held from October 12 to November 5, and the results will be declared on November 8. The BJP is up against the grand secular allaince of JD(U), RJD and Congress.

Thirty-seven candidates have declared cases of attempt to murder. Ramswarup Yadav, an independent candidate from Hisua constituency, faces five charges related to attempt to murder. And nine candidates have cases related to kidnapping against them.

Divided on the basis of political parties, the study says the highest percentage of candidates having ‘serious’ criminal cases is from the Congress.

Four out of eight candidates have serious criminal cases registered against them. Around 37% of BJP candidates, 38% of JD(U)candidates and 35% of RJD candidates have serious criminal cases registered against them.

The financial status of the candidates were also analysed in the study, and it was found that 19 of the 24 JD(U) candidates are crorepatis. Congress candidates were a close second with six out of their eight candidates in the list.

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