Patna: Altogether 74 (44%) of the 170 candidates in the fray for 24 Bihar legislative council seats from local authority constituencies have criminal cases against them. Out of the 74 candidates, 41 (24%) have serious charges, including of murder, kidnapping and crime against women. The council polls are scheduled for July 7.
Analysing the sworn affidavits filed by the candidates, Bihar Election Watch (BEW) and Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) found that 10 (59%) out of 17 BJP candidates, 7 (70%) out of 10 JD(U) candidates and 8 (80%) of the 10 RJD candidates have criminal cases against them.
The ADR report says four (24%) out of 17 BJP candidates, six (60%) out of 10 JD(U) and five (50%) of the 10 RJD candidates have serious criminal cases against them. Twenty candidates have murder and attempt to murder cases against them.
BEW state coordinator Rajiv Kumar told TOI that Rajesh Kumar, an independent candidate from Vaishali, has declared cases of crime against women against him while Vinay Prasad (RJD) from Aurangabad has cases of kidnapping against him. Two candidates face robbery and dacoity charges, he said.
Interestingly, 77 (45%) candidates are crorepatis. The top three among them are Sachchidanand Rai (BJP) from Saran (Rs 407 crore), Anil Singh of JD(U) from Rohtas and Kaimur (over Rs 74 crore) and Rajiv Ranjan Kumar (Ind) from Samastipur (over Rs 26 crore). Thirty-two of them have assets worth less than Rs 10 lakh while 53 (31%) have not declared their PAN details. The average assets of 17 BJP candidates are worth Rs 29.33 crore while its Rs 14.27 crore for 10 JD(U) and Rs 4.99 crore for 10 RJD candidates.
Only 19 (11%) women are in the fray. Eighty (47%) candidates are graduates or having higher degrees while 89 (52%) are Class XIIth pass or below. Among the candidates, 129 (76%) are between 25 and 50 years of age and 40 (24%) are between 51 and 70. One candidate is above 70, the ADR report says.

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