As many as 101 candidates in Punjab are facing various criminal cases, including that of murder and attempt to murder, poll watchdog Association of Democratic Reforms (ADR) has said.

Besides, out of total 1,145 candidates in the fray, 428 are having assets of more than Rs 1 crore, with average assets per candidate being worked out at Rs 3.49 crore.

According to the analysis of candidates' affidavits by ADR, 101 out of 1,145 candidates have declared criminal cases against them.

Of them, 78 candidates are facing serious criminal charges including that of murder, attempt to murder and crime against women, said Jagdeep Chhokar, founding member of ADR. Prominent among those who are facing criminal charges are Navjot Singh Sidhu, Captain Amarinder Singh, Simarjeet Singh Bains, he said.

53-year-old Sidhu, Congress candidate from Amritsar East, declared in his affidavit that on December 27, 1988 a case under section 302, 323, 34 of IPC was registered against him. He was acquitted in the case by the Session Court Patiala on September 22, 1999.

But the Punjab and Haryana High Court convicted him on December 6, 2006 sentencing him to three years' rigorous imprisonment and fine of Rs 1 lakh. But the Supreme Court suspended the sentence on January 23, 2007.

Congress' chief ministerial candidate Amarinder Singh, who is contesting from Lambi and Patiala, is facing four cases, as per the report prepared by ADR.

Lok Insaf Party candidate Simarjeet Bains is facing case under relevant sections of IPC including 307 (attempt to murder), 332 (charges related to voluntary causing hurt to deter servant from his duty).

As per report prepared by ADR, 14 candidates of Congress, 12 of AAP, 10 of SAD and 2 of BJP and 20 out of 304 Independents were facing criminal charges, said Chhokar.

The report also said that a whopping 688 out of total 1,145 contestants, have declared their educational

qualification between 5th standard and 12th standard while 41 candidates are illiterate.

Despite political parties stressing upon giving more nominations to women in polls, 81 (7 per cent) women out of 1,145 candidates are contesting Punjab Assembly polls, as per the report.

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