New Delhi: Every third candidate in the ongoing Uttar Pradesh assembly elections is facing a criminal charge, including some for serious crimes like rape, murder and kidnapping, while millionaires account for a similar percentage of those in the fray, an analysis of their self-declared affidavits showed on Sunday.
The seven-phase elections will end on March 8 while the campaign for the final phase has already entered its last lap. According to an analysis of self-sworn affidavits of total 4,823 candidates in this election (out of 4,853 overall in the fray) by the Uttar Pradesh Election Watch and Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR), 859 have disclosed criminal cases against them (18 per cent) and further 704 have serious criminal cases (15 per cent).
ADR said 31 candidates were not analysed due to unclear affidavit available on the ECI website. It found as many as 1,457 millionaire candidates across the seven phases (30 per cent), while the overall average asset of those in the fray stood at Rs19.1 million. The share of those with criminal cases stood at 19 per cent in the UP assembly polls in 2012, while the number of candidates with serious criminal cases, including cases related to rape, murder, kidnapping, communal disharmony and crime against women, has gone up from 8 per cent in the last elections.
ADR said 62 candidates have declared cases related to murder, while 148 candidates have declared cases of attempt to murder in the ongoing elections. A total of 38 candidates have declared cases related to crimes against women, including ten related to rape. The number of candidates with cases related to kidnapping is 34, while 22 have declared cases related to communal disharmony and 63 about electoral violations.
On party-wise analysis, ADR said 150 out of 400 candidates from the Bahujan Samaj Party (40 per cent)) have declared criminal cases, while the same for the BJP is 36 per cent and for the Samajwadi Party it is 37 per cent and 32 per cent in case for the Congress.
In terms of serious criminal cases, the BSP has 31 per cent such candidates, followed by 29 per cent for the SP, 26 per cent for the BJP and 22 per cent for the Congress. As many as 152 constituencies (38 per cent) in the UP assembly polls have three or more candidates with declared criminal cases.