About 43 per cent of the candidates fielded by the UDF, LDF and BJP for Kerala Assembly elections have criminal cases pending against them, shows an analysis done by Election Watch Kerala.
Election Watch Kerala, in association with the Association for Democratic Reforms and National ElectionWatch, analysed the self attested oath declarations of 418 main contestants. Of them, 178 have
admitted that they had criminal cases pending against them in their declarations. Out of those 178 candidates, 33 candidates had got serious criminal cases against them such as attempt to murder and
extortion. (However, some of the charges were apparently connected to participation in political agitations.)
A total of 69 candidates, (17%, out of 418 analysed) are crorepatis. Percentage of crorepati candidates in INC, ML and KC (M) were 19, 57 and 40 respectively. Seven per cent of the candidates of CPI (M) and BJP were crorepathis while only four per cent of the candidates of CPI had assets exceeding Rs. 1 crore.
All major parties analysed had given tickets to candidates with pending criminal cases. KC (M) has 8 out of 15 (53%) candidates with pending criminal cases, INC has 44 out of 80 (55%), CPI(M) has 37 out
of 84 (44%), CPI has 12 out of 27 (44%) while ML have 10 out 23 (43%) candidates with pending criminal cases.
They have given tickets to candidates with serious pending criminal cases like attempt to murder, extortion and causing hurts by dangerous weapons. INC has the maximum percentage of candidates (15%) with serious pending criminal cases in the elections followed by BJP and CPI (M) with 8% and 7% respectively.
Top in the list of candidates with criminal charges against them were Food and Civil Supplies Minister C. Divakaran and Congress candidate Mambaram Divakaran. NCP candidate Thomas Chandy is the richest
candidate with assets exceeding Rs. 45 crore.
Keywords: Kerala Assembly polls