252 candidates in first phase of LS polls have criminal cases against them: report

Data shows 161 have declared cases of serious crimes, 18 have charges of crimes against women, and 35 have cases related to hate speech; 15 out of 1,618 candidates have declared cases where they have been convicted

April 08, 2024 05:55 pm | Updated 11:26 pm IST - New Delhi

Photo used for representation purpose only. Forty-two of the 102 Lok Sabha seats going to polls in the general election’s first phase are constituencies that have three or more candidates facing criminal cases, according to a poll rights body.

Photo used for representation purpose only. Forty-two of the 102 Lok Sabha seats going to polls in the general election’s first phase are constituencies that have three or more candidates facing criminal cases, according to a poll rights body. | Photo Credit: Vijay Soneji

A total of 252 candidates in the fray for the first phase of the general election on April 19 have criminal cases against them, which included seven with murder and 19 with attempt to murder charges, according to an analysis of the self-sworn affidavits of the contestants by the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) and the National Election Watch.

The analysis was carried out on 1,618 out of the 1,625 candidates contesting in the first phase of Lok Sabha polls.

The data shows 161 persons have declared cases of serious crimes registered against themselves, 18 have charges of crimes against women, and 35 have cases related to hate speech. Fifteen out of the 1,618 candidates have declared cases where they have been convicted.

Regarding political parties, all four candidates from Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) have declared criminal cases against themselves. The party with the least number of contestants declaring criminal cases was BSP with 11 (13%) out of 86 candidates having criminal cases.

On the wealth metric, there are 450 ‘crorepati’ (whose net worth is greater than ₹1 crore) candidates in the first phase with the maximum of 69 from BJP, followed by Congress at 49, AIADMK at 35, DMK at 21, BSP at 18 and Trinamool and RJD at four each.

Contestants of the AIADMK have the highest average assets at ₹35.61 crore followed by the DMK at ₹31.22 crore, Congress at ₹27.79 crore and BJP at ₹22.37 crore.

Congress’ Chhindwara candidate Nakul Nath is the richest with ₹716.94 crore assets followed by Erode candidate Ashok Kumar (AIADMK) possessing ₹662.46 crore and Sivaganga candidate Devanathan Yadav T (BJP) having ₹304.92 crore in wealth.

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