As many as 121 candidates contesting in the third phase of Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections have criminal cases pending against them, according to a monitoring group.

Out of the 317 candidates analysed by National Election Watch, 121 candidates have declared criminal cases against them, the report -- issued on Tuesday-- said. 

Among these candidates, Brijesh Singh alias Arun Kumar Singh of Pragatisheel Manav Samaj Party (contesting from Saiyadraja seat) faces 39 criminal cases and charged with 57 serious IPC sections. 

Following him are Apna Dal's Atiq Ahmad (Allahabad West constituency) with 44 criminal cases (26 serious IPC sections) and Ajay Prakash Singh of Peace Party from Lambhua constituency with 21 cases.  

All major political parties has given tickets to candidates who have criminal cases against them. Like the previous two phases, Samajwadi Party again tops the chart with 30 such candidates, followed by BJP 25, BSP 21, Congress 16, Peace Party and JD(U) 4 each.  

Out of these 121 candidates, 61 of them face serious criminal cases like murder, attempt to murder, kidnapping, robbery, extortion etc.The report also said that 122 candidates contesting in the February 15 polls are crorepatis. The candidate with maximum assets is state Cabinet minister Nand Gopal from Allahabad south seat with property worth Rs 95.26 crore. He is followed by Tanveer of Congress from Bhadohi with assets of Rs 21.20 crore and Atiq Ahmad of Apna Dal from Allahabad constituency with assets worth Rs 20.79 crore. Out of 1,029 candidates contesting for the third phase only 78 are women. The number of women candidates for BSP is 4, BJP 6, Congress 3 and SP 5. A total of 135 candidates out of the 317 candidates analysed by the election watch have declared that they have never filed income tax returns.

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