Hindustan Times
New Delhi

The National Election Watch (NEW) and Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) in their analysis of the affidavits of all 64 candidates, who are contesting in the first phase of the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, found six candidates or 9% among them face criminal cases.

The first of the nine phase-poll will be held in the northeastern states of Assam and Tripura on April 7, 2014 and the candidates in the fray belong to the Congress, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Asom Gana Parisad (AGP), All India Trinamool Congress (AITC), CPI(M), Indigenous Peoples Front Of Tripura as well as Independent candidates.

There are 51 candidates from Assam in five constituencies and 13 from Tripura in one constituency.

In their analysis of the self-sworn affidavits of these candidates, the ADR and NEW found that out of the six candidates, who have declared criminal cases, three have declared serious criminal cases including attempt to murder, rape, etc.

Breaking the data on party lines, one or 20% of the five candidates fielded by AGP, one or 50% out of two candidates from CPI(M), one candidate fielded by Indigenous Peoples Front Of Tripura and three (18%) out of 17 Independent candidates have declared criminal cases against themselves in their affidavits.

Among the 64 candidates, who have declared serious criminal cases against themselves in their affidavits, one or 20% of five candidates belong to the AGP and two or 12% out of 17 candidates are Independent.

Hariprasad Dihingia of the AGP from Lakhimpur constituency in Assam and Independent candidate Subal Bhowmik from Tripura's Tripura West constituency have declared they have four counts of serious charges under the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

They are followed by Moni Kumar Subba, an Independent candidate from Tezpur constituency in Assam, with three serious counts. 

Subal Bhowmik an Independent candidate from Tripura West constituency in Tripura has declared he has a case related to attempt to murder slapped against him.

The candidate with a case related to rape is Moni Kumar Subba who is an Independent candidate from Assam's Tezpur constituency.

Their criteria for serious criminal cases include those offences with maximum punishment of five years or more, non-bailable cases, electoral offences under IPC 171E or bribery, related to loss to exchequer, related to assault, murder, kidnap, rape, mentioned in Representation of the People Act (Section 8), under Prevention of Corruption Act and crimes against women.

Crorepati candidates
The election watchdogs also analysed the financial backgrounds of these 64 candidates and found 16 or 25% have assets worth Rs. 1 crore or more.

The average asset per candidate contesting in the first phase of 2014 Lok Sabha Elections is Rs. 5.75 crore.

Five out of six or 83% Congress candidates have assets worth more than Rs. 1 crore. In the AGP two or 33% out of six of AITC, two or 40% out of five of AGP, one or 25% out of four of AAP and one or 17% out of six BJP candidates have assets worth more than Rs. 1 crore. Among the Independent candidates, four or 24% out of 17 have assets worth more than Rs. 1 crore.

Among the major parties, the average asset per candidate for six Congress candidates is Rs. 4.10 crore, five AGP candidates have average assets of Rs. 2.30 crore, four AAP candidates have average assets ofRs. 1.20 crore, six Trinamool candidates have average assets of Rs. 98.01 lakh, six BJP candidates have average assets of Rs. 49.28 lakh and five CPI(M) candidates have average assets of Rs. 26.86 lakh.

There are three high asset candidates with more than Rs. 8 crore worth of assets.

Out of 64 candidates analysed, a total of 10 candidates have declared assets less than Rs. 4 lakh.

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