31% candidates have criminal records: ADR report

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PTI
New Delhi
Over 30 per cent of 1,064 candidates in the first phase of the Bihar Assembly election have declared criminal cases against themselves, according to a report by poll rights group Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR).
Twenty-three per cent or 244 candidates have declared serious criminal cases against themselves, it said. Serious criminal cases are non-bailable offences with over five years of imprisonment.


As many as 328 or 31 per cent candidates have declared criminal cases against themselves.
A total of 375 or 35 per cent have given their financial assets worth crores of rupees while five candidates have declared zero assets, the report said.

According to the report, 30 (73 per cent) out of 41 candidates analysed from the RJD have declared criminal cases against themselves and 22 (54 per cent) have declared serious criminal cases against themselves in their affidavits.
About 21 (72 per cent) out of 29 candidates analysed from the BJP have declared criminal cases against themselves and 13 (45 per cent) have declared serious criminal cases against themselves in their affidavits, the report said.
The poll body report said that about 24 (59 per cent) out of 41 candidates analysed from the LJP have declared criminal cases against themselves and 20 (49 per cent) have declared serious criminal cases against themselves in their affidavits.
About 12 (57 per cent) out of 21 candidates analysed from the Congress, 15 (43 per cent) out of 35 candidates analysed from the JD(U) and eight (31 per cent) out of 26 candidates analysed from the BSP have declared criminal cases against themselves in their affidavits.


Nine (43 per cent) out of 21 candidates analysed from the Congress, 10 (29 per cent) out of 35 candidates analysed from the JD(U) and 5(19 per cent) out of 26 candidates analysed from the BSP have declared serious criminal cases against themselves in their affidavits, the report said.
As many as 29 candidates have declared cases related to crime against women and out of 29 candidates, three have declared cases related to rape, the
report said.

The report said that 21 candidates have declared cases related to murder (IPC Section-302) against themselves and 62 candidates have declared cases related to attempt to murder (IPC Section-307) against themselves.
The details of the financial background of the candidates was also given in the report.
“Out of the 1,064 candidates, 375 (35 per cent) are crorepatis. Among the major parties, 39 (95 per cent) out of 41 candidates analysed from RJD, 31 (89 per cent) out of 35 candidates analysed from JDU, 24 (83 per cent) out of 29 candidates analysed from BJP, 30 (73 per cent) out of 41 candidates analysed from LJP, 14 (67 per cent) out of 21 candidates analysed from the INC (Congress) and 12(46 per cent) out of 26 candidates from the BSP have declared assets worth more than Rs 1 crore,” the report said.


The average of assets per candidate contesting in the first phase of Bihar Assembly elections is Rs 1.99 crore, the report said.
“Among major parties, the average assets per candidate for 35 JD(U) candidates analysed is Rs. 8.12 crores, 41 RJD candidates analysed is Rs 6.98 crores, 21 INC candidates have average assets of Rs 6.03 crores, 41 LJP candidates have average assets of Rs 4.62 crores, 29 BJP candidates have average assets of Rs 3.10 crores and 26 BSP candidates have average assets worth Rs. 1.36 crore,” it said.
As many as 453 or (43 per cent) candidates have declared liabilities in their affidavits, it said.
The findings of the report were unveiled in a press conference by ADR.
Jagdeep Chhokar, founder member and trustee of ADR and National Election Watch, said the directions of the Supreme Court have had “no effect” on the political parties in selection of candidates as they have again followed their old practice of giving tickets to around 31 per cent candidates with criminal cases.
“All major parties contesting in Bihar phase I elections have given tickets to 31 per cent to 70 per cent candidates who have declared criminal cases against themselves,” he said.


The Supreme Court in its directions in February had asked political parties to give reasons for selecting candidates with criminal background and why other individuals without criminal antecedents could not be selected as candidates.
“This data clearly shows that political parties have no interest in reforming the electoral system and our democracy will continue to suffer at the hands of lawbreakers who become lawmakers,” Chhokar said.
The Bihar election will held in three phases for a total of 243 seats — the first phase for 71 seats on October 28, the second phase for 94 seats on November 3, and the third phase for the remaining 78 will be on November 7.
The results will be announced on November 10.