Only 12% of candidates in phase 5 are women, says ADR

Out of the total 695 candidates in the fifth phase on May 20, only 82 are women; nearly 23% candidates have declared criminal cases against themselves, says the election rights body

Updated - May 13, 2024 03:02 am IST

Published - May 13, 2024 01:24 am IST - New Delhi

Out of the total 695 candidates in the fifth phase on May 20, only 82 are women, the ADR said. File

Out of the total 695 candidates in the fifth phase on May 20, only 82 are women, the ADR said. File | Photo Credit: V RAJU

The representation of women in the ongoing Lok Sabha election continues to remain dismally low, as only about 12% of the candidates in the fray in the fifth phase are female, according to an analysis by election rights body Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR).

The ADR analysis also showed that nearly 23% have declared criminal cases against themselves and about 18% have serious criminal cases pending.

Out of the total 695 candidates in the fifth phase on May 20, only 82 are women, the ADR said.

In the first phase of the election, 135 (8%) female candidates contested while 100 (8%) women candidates fought in the second phase. Similarly, in the third phase of the election, 123 (9%) female candidates contested while in the fourth phase, as many as 170 (10%) such candidates are in the fray.

Out of the 695 candidates under scrutiny in the fifth phase, 18% (122 candidates) have serious criminal cases pending, including that of murder, attempt to murder, crimes against women, and hate speech. Three candidates have declared convictions against them.

The ADR and National Election Watch analysed self-sworn affidavits filed by the candidates contesting in the phase five to get their criminal backgrounds, financial profiles, education, and gender.

The report also gave a party-wise break-up of criminal cases. Among the major parties, two (50%) out of four candidates from AIMIM, four (40%) out of 10 candidates from SP, seven (39%) out of 18 candidates from the Congress, two (33%) out of six candidates from Shiv Sena, 12 (30%) out of 40 candidates from BJP, two (29%) out of seven candidates from Trinamool, one (25%) out of four candidates from the RJD and one (13%) out of eight candidates from Shiv Sena (UBT) have declared serious criminal cases against themselves.

According to the ADR report, 29 candidates have declared cases related to crime against women.

Out of 29 candidates, one has declared charge related to rape (IPC Section 376) and 10 have declared cases related to hate speech against themselves.

A notable 33% of the candidates are 'crorepatis' (those with assets exceeding ₹1 crore). The average asset per candidate stood at ₹3.56 crore.

The top three candidates with the highest assets have declared values ranging from ₹110 crore to ₹212 crore.

Moreover, 47% of the candidates have declared liabilities, with some having high debt burdens amounting to tens of crores of rupees.

However, the educational qualifications of candidates raise concerns, with 42% having qualifications between 5th and 12th standard, and only 50% being graduates or above.

Additionally, 26 candidates are diploma holders, 20 are just literate, and five are illiterate, the ADR said.

In response to these findings, the ADR has put forward a series of recommendations to address the issue of criminalisation in politics, including permanent disqualification of candidates convicted of serious crimes, cancellation of tax exemptions for parties fielding tainted candidates, and parties being brought under the Right to Information Act.

0 / 0
Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in


Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.