The BJP has the highest number of candidates (29 of 73 analysed, or 40 per cent) with criminal cases against them, says the report.
Lucknow: Long before the outcome of the Assembly elections is known, political parties in Uttar Pradesh appear to have gone against at least one of their poll promises — that of not promoting candidates with a “criminal background”.
A report from the Uttar Pradesh Election Watch and Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) says that nearly 20 per cent, or 168 candidates, contesting the UP elections in the first phase have criminal cases registered against them, with 143 facing serious criminal charges.
The report analysed the affidavits of 836 out of 839 candidates (293 of whom are Independent) from 98 political parties — 5 national, 8 state and 85 unrecognised.
Fifteen candidates have declared cases related to murder (IPC Section 302), 42 candidates have cases of attempt to murder and five have cases of rape (Section 376) or assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty (Section 354) registered against them, the report said. Two candidates have declared cases related to kidnapping for ransom.
The Bharatiya Janata Party has the highest number of candidates (29 of 73 analysed, or 40 per cent) with criminal cases against them, says the report. The Mayawati-led Bahujan Samaj Party is close second with 28 of 73 candidates with a criminal background while Samajwadi Party’s 15 candidates taking the third spot. Ajit Singh-led Rashtriya Lok Dal has fielded 19 candidates with a criminal past while the Congress has fielded six.
The ADR report also points to the increasing trend of politics growing out of the poor’s reach, with wealth of 302 candidates adding up to several crores of rupees.
The average asset held by each candidate is Rs 2.8 crore. The maximum number of crorepati candidates (66 of the 73 analysed) belong to the BSP, which promotes itself as the party for Dalits and the downtrodden. The BJP has fielded 61 crorepatis and the SP has 40 candidates who fall in this bracket, says the report.