The Times of India

RAIPUR: As the countdown begins for the sixth phase of the general election, it turns out that Chhattisgarh has the least percentage of crorepatis and criminals in fray among the 12 states that go to polls on April 24. 

According to data released by the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR), Chhattisgarh has only 15%, i.e. 22 of 153, candidates who have assets worth over Rs one crore. As far as candidates with criminal backgrounds are concerned, the state has only 8%, i.e. 12 of 153, in fray for the final third phase of polling in seven constituencies. 

According to the data, Durg, Korba and Raipur have four candidates each with criminal backgrounds. They hail from all mainline parties, except the BJP. While a Congress candidate with a criminal background is contesting from Raipur, AAP, the party, which shot to fame on it agenda of clean politics, has two such contestants in the fray in Korba and Raipur. 

Interestingly, while Raipur candidate, Imrram Pasha (Azadi ki Antim Andolan Dal party) tops the list of 'corepatis' with total assets valuing Rs 21.78 crore, Dhani Ram Yadav (SP) from Bilaspur has "zero" assets in his name. According to the data the top three top crorepati candidates in the state who have not given their PAN details are Shailendra Kumar Banjare (Shakti Sena), Durg, with assets worth Rs 5.12 crore; Fatte Singh Shyam (IND), Korba, with assets worth Rs 1 crore; and Jait Ram Khande (IND), Bilaspur, with assets worth Rs 1 crore. 

Among the 12 states that go to polls in the sixth phase, Jammu & Kashmir has the largest percentage of crorepaties in the fray with 6 of the 12 (50%) candidates with assets of over Rs one crore. Similarly Bihar has the largest percentage — 35% of candidates with criminal background in fray.

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