About 20 per cent of candidates in the first phase of the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections, where 73 seats will see polling on February 11, have criminal cases filed against them, with BJP topping the list with 29 (40 per cent) candidates with criminal background.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is followed by Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) (38 per cent), Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) (33 per cent), Samajwadi Party (SP) (29 per cent) and Congress (25 percent), says a report by non-profit election watchdog, Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR).
It shows at least 168 candidates have declared criminal cases in their affidavits submitted to the Election Commission, with 143 of them facing serious criminal charges, like murder, attempt to murder, kidnapping, crime against women.
The BSP has highest number of such candidates at 26 (36 percent of its total candidates). It is followed by BJP (30 per cent), RLD and SP (26 per cent each).
The ADR has analysed affidavits of 836 of total 839 candidates from 98 political parties, including five national parties, eight state parties, 85 unrecognised parties and 293 Independents, who are contesting in the first phase.
According to the report, 15 candidates have been charged with cases related to murder, 42 with cases related to attempt to murder, two with kidnapping for ransom and five with related to crime against women such as assault, molestation and rape.
There are at least 26 Red Alert constituencies, where three or more candidates have criminal history.
About 36 per cent of candidates are crorepaties (millionaires) as 302 of 836 candidates have shown total assets of over Rs 1 crore in their affidavits. Congress candidate from Agra South Nazir Ahamad is the richest candidate in the fray having declared assets of over Rs 211 crore.
The BSP has topped the chart in the category of crorepati candidates as 66 (90 per cent) of its candidates have declared assets of over Rs 1 crore. It is followed by BJP (84 per cent), SP (78 per cent), and Congress (75 per cent).
The average of assets per candidate is Rs 2.81 crore, said ADR. Interestingly, one candidate has shown zero income.
ADR reports further shows that 22 per cent of candidates have not declared their PAN details while 52 per cent have not declared income tax details.