An analysis of the candidates’ affidavits based on the seriousness of their crimes and a party-wise study of the number of candidates with criminal background reveal that most of the candidates with criminal antecedents are from the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), which is contesting the Lok Sabha election and the by-elections to state assembly constituencies.
The Aam Aadmi Party, which is contesting both the Lok Sabha seats and two out of the three bypolls to be held on April 23, has three out of its four candidates with criminal charges against them. An analysis of the self-sworn affidavits of the AAP candidates reveals that none of them has declared convicted cases against them.
Shekhar Naik of AAP, contesting the Mapusa bypoll and is SSC pass, has a criminal case registered against him at the Mapusa police station under various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) for road rage and physical altercation.
Yogesh Khandeparkar of AAP, contesting the Shiroda by-election and is a retired government servant, has a criminal case pending against him under Section 354 of IPC and Section 8 of Children’s Act, 2003, for sexually abusing daughters of complainant with an intent to outrage their modesty.
Convenor of AAP and its Lok Sabha candidate Elvis Gomes, who is contesting the polls from South Goa, has a case against him pending under IPC 420 with Anti-Corruption Bureau in connection with his alleged involvement in dropping of land acquisition proceedings in housing board.
Gomes, who was managing director of Goa Housing Board, and Nilkant Halarnkar, who was its chairman, had allegedly acquired land between 2007 and 2011, changed its ‘zoning’ (reservation) to residential which would have increased its market value, and later gave it back to the owner.
The Niz Goenkar Revolution Front, which has made a maiden entry onto the Lok Sabha electoral scene, has one candidate with criminal record.
Aishwarya Salgaonkar, contesting from North seat, has two criminal cases pending in Porvorim and Mapusa police stations under various sections for rioting and unlawful assembly. However, details of the cases are not mentioned in the affidavit.
The findings are based on the scrutiny of the affidavits filed by the contesting candidates when they filed their nominations from the different constituencies.
According to her self-sworn affidavit, South Goa Lok Sabha seat candidate of Shiv Sena Rakhi Naik had submitted in her nomination affidavit for the 2017 assembly election that she had a criminal case pending with Judicial Magistrate First Class (JMFC) at Bicholim – case no 309/NI/2016/B registered under Section 138 of Negotiable Instruments Act – but the same was not declared in her recent affidavit filed for the forthcoming Lok Sabha election. However, her affidavit for the forthcoming polls mentions that she has a criminal case pending with JMFC Margao – case number 509/NI/2016/E – for offence registered under Section 138 of Negotiable Instruments Act.
Sanjay Barde, who is Nationalist Congress Party candidate for Mapusa bypoll, has a criminal case pending against him in a Judicial Magistrate First Class court in Mapusa under the Negotiable Instruments Act for dishonour of cheque and he has been convicted by the said court.
In his affidavit, he has said that in three different criminal cases in 2015, the Judicial Magistrate First Class at Panaji, by common judgment, convicted and sentenced him to undergo simple imprisonment for a period of one year, while in 2012, the court of sessions judge, Kolhapur, sentenced him to three-month simple imprisonment in the dishonour of cheque case.