The ruling Samajwadi Party tops the list with 19 candidates, says NGO

Varanasi: As many as 138 out of 785 candidates in 52 constituencies of nine districts in Uttar Pradesh, which go to polls in the sixth phase on May 3, have criminal cases pending against them, according to an NGO.

The ruling Samajwadi Party has fielded maximum number of 19 candidates having criminal antecedents, followed by BSP with 16 such candidates in all the 52 seats, NGO UP Election Watch said in its report. Similarly, 12 of 41 candidates fielded by BJP for the sixth phase polls have such records, while 14 of the 49 candidates of Congress have similar background, it said.

A comprehensive picture after the nomination for all six phases shows that the SP tops the list with 35.01 per cent of its candidates having criminal background, followed by BSP (32.27 per cent), BJP (28.05 per cent) and Congress (21.60 per cent), the UP Election Watch said.

Sorain (257) Assembly constituency in Allahabad district has the dubious distinction of having all 11 candidates in fray, including the Apna Dal national president Sonelal Patel, with criminal cases pending against them.

The number of candidates with criminal cases lodged against them stands at six in Allahabad (West), five each in Gangapur, Mughalsarai, Varanasi (Cantt.) and Varanasi (South) and four each in Majhwa, Gyanpur, Dildarnagar and Bara constituencies. Among the individual candidates with criminal backgrounds, BSP's Suhsil Kumar from Dhanapur assembly constituency in Chandauli district tops the list with 25 cases registered against him that include eight cases of murder.

RLD candidate in Gangapur constituency Chhotelal Vishwakarma has 24 cases against him, while independent candidates Sujeet Kumar Singh (Gangapur) and Rajesh Yadav (Allahabad-West) have 17 and 15 criminal cases against them respectively. Another RLD candidate Dinesh Pal (Varanasi-North) has 11 cases against him, while the SP candidate from Gyanpur constituency Vijay Kumar Mishra has 10 cases against him. The SP candidate from Allahabad (West) Khalid Azim has eight cases against him.

The UP Election Watch reports said 47.10 per cent of the candidates with criminal background belong to the age group between 25 to 40 years. Reflecting the financial health of the candidates in the sixth phase, it said there are 47 candidates having an asset of more than Rs 1 crore with the BSP topping the chart with 13 candidates followed by the SP (9), Congress (8) and BJP (6). According to the report, the BSP has the highest number of candidates with an average asset at Rs 1.18 crore followed by the SP (Rs 0.74 crore), Congress (Rs 0.53 crore) and BJP (Rs 0.47 crore).

No PAN

There are 24 candidates who have declared their assets as nil.

The average financial liability of the candidates stands at Rs 26.52 lakh (BSP), Rs 5.40 lakh (SP), Rs 3.97 lakh (BJP) and Rs 1.65 lakh (Congress), while there are 13 candidates who have liabilities, but no Permanent Account Number.

Ironically, there are seven candidates in fray in the sixth-phase who have an asset over Rs 1 crore, but no PAN, while 559 candidates out of 785 have no PAN. -- PTI