At least 67 out of 489 candidates contesting the forthcoming Haryana Assembly polls on October 13 have criminal cases pending against them.
This has been brought out in a study conducted by the Association for Democratic Reforms and National Election Watch, a nationwide campaign comprising more than 1,200 NGOs and other citizen led organisations, working on electoral reforms, improving democracy and governance.
The study, which analysed affidavits filed by 489 out of 1,222 candidates in the fray, found out that 24 out of these 67 nominees have criminal cases relating to murder, attempt to murder and dacoity pending against them. Out of these, the six candidates who face murder or attempt to murder charges are Dilbagh Singh of INLD from Yamunanagar, Bir Singh an Independent from Badshahpur, Om Pal Tongar of BSP from Ballabhgarh, Bharat Singh Beniwal of Congress from Ellenabad, Sanjay Singh of BJP from Nuh, and Karan Singh Dalal of Congress from Palwal.
The study states that both the Congress and the Haryana Janhit Congress have 14 candidates each with pending criminal cases, closely followed by INLD and BSP with 12 such candidates each.
Thirteen constituencies where at least two candidates with pending criminal cases are contesting elections are Ambala Cantt, Ballabhgarh, Dabwali, Ellenabad, Faridabad, Faridabad NIT, Jagadhri, Kosli, Panipat Rural, Pataudi, Ratia, Uchana Kalan and Yamunanagar.
Interestingly, out of these 489 nominees, 251 have declared assets of more than Rs.one crore. The highest assets declared are 92.7 crore by Mohit of Haryana Janhit Congress from Kosli followed by Venod Sharma of Congress from Ambala City (Rs.87.4 crore).
There has also been a significant increase in the wealth of 42 re-contesting MLAs and the average increase has been gauged at Rs.4.8 crores.