In Jharkhand phase 2 polls, 44 face serious criminal cases, including crimes against women

Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) chief Shibu Soren gives blessings to the party candidate from Silli, Seema Mahato before in Ranchi. File photo   | Photo Credit: PTI

In the second phase of the Jharkhand Assembly elections that is under way on Saturday, 260 candidates are in the fray, and of them, only 29 are women.

Of the 20 constituencies witnessing polls, 16 are Scheduled Tribe seats, one reserved for Scheduled Castes, and the rest general constituencies.

According to personal information declared by the candidates and analysed by the Association for Democratic Reforms, while at least 23% of the candidates in the first phase declared criminal cases against themselves, this time, 67, or 26%, face criminal charges. Further, 44 of the 67 have serious criminal cases against them, including crimes against women, murder, attempt to murder and corruption.

Three candidates – jailed Maoist leader Kundan Pahan of the Jharkhand Party, Bhushan Bara of the Congress, BJP candidate Ganesh Mahali – have been booked for assault or criminal force with the intent to outraging the modesty of a woman. Shashikant Bhagat, who is contesting independently from Sisai, faces charges related to kidnapping a woman to compel her for marriage.

Pahan, who is also the candidate with the highest number of declared criminal cases (44) and a prime accused in the killing of the late Tamar MLA Ramesh Singh Munda, has been booked for rape, causing miscarriage without a woman’s consent, causing disappearance of evidence, causing hurt by dangerous weapons, kidnapping, murder, attempt to murder and extortion, among other charges, under different sections of the Indian Penal Code. On November 11, 2019, he was allowed by an NIA court to contest the Assembly elections.

While eight candidates have charges related to attempt to murder, four have declared that they been booked for murder.

Following Mr. Pahan are Bandhu Tirkey of the Jharkhand Vikas Morcha (Prajatantrik) (JVM-P) and Dashrath Gagrai of the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM), with 10 and 6 cases against them respectively.

According to data released by the Election Commission of India, of the 29 women candidates contesting in the second phase, two women — Chandmani Balmuchu and Dayamani Barla, both from the JVM(P) — face criminal cases.

Ms. Barla, contesting from Khunti, has three criminal cases against her and is the only candidate from the constituency who is facing charges.

Further, of the 29 women, 6 are crorepatis.

Women contesting as independents, 6, are also the highest in number.

67% of Congress candidates face criminal cases

Party-wise, the Congress and the JMM have the highest percentage of candidates booked for criminal cases at 66 and 50 respectively. Four out of the six fielded by the Congress and seven out of 14 by the JMM face criminal charges.

On the other hand, the BJP and JVM-P have fielded the highest number of candidates, eight each, with declared criminal cases. The JMM ranks third.

18% crorepatis


Out of the 260 candidates, 46, or 18%, are crorepatis. This is lower in proportion than the last phase, where 31% of the total 189 candidates were crorepatis.

Further, at least half, or 50% of the candidates fielded by the BJP and JMM, are crorepatis.

In the first phase, among the top three candidates with the highest declared assets, Kushwaha Shashi Bhushan Mehta of the BJP ranked third with lowest assets at ₹27 crore.

In this phase, Ramdas Soren of the JMM had the highest declared assets at ₹9 crore.

(Data source: myneta, Election Commission of India, Association for Democratic Reforms, Jharkhandvidhansabha.nic.in)

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Printable version | Oct 21, 2021 5:48:28 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/elections/jharkhand/jharkhand-assembly-elections-phase-2-four-candidates-booked-for-crimes-against-women/article30229218.ece

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