At least 10% or 117 out of the total candidates contesting the upcoming Assembly elections in Haryana have criminal cases registered against them, a study by Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR), a non-governmental organisation (NGO) which works in the area of electoral and political reforms, has found.

In 2014, nearly 7% of total candidates had criminal records, according to the study based on affidavits filed by the candidates to the Election Commission of India. To be sure, political parties have always maintained that some of the cases against politicians are motivated and filed by rivals.

This year, five candidates have cases of crime against women, two of them for rape, and five are accused in attempt to murder cases.

Among big parties — the Congress, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Indian National Lok Dal, and Jannayak Janata Party — the Congress has fielded the highest number of candidates with a criminal background (15), and the BJP has fielded the lowest (3). Sukhbir Kataria of the Congress, who is contesting from Gurgaon constituency, has 44 cases against him, the highest among all candidates, the ADR study shows.

In terms of financial standing, about 4 in 10 candidates contesting the election are crorepatis or multi-millionaires — the average asset per candidate is ₹4.31 crore. Nine out of every 10 candidates fielded by the Congress and the BJP are crorepatis.

In terms of educational background, about 50% candidates have completed between classes 5 and 12, while 43% are at least graduates.

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