The Pioneer

As many as 22 percent of the total 623 candidates in the fray for the third phase of Assembly polls, have criminal background and 17 percent have declared they were facing heinous criminal charges. Eleven candidates in their affidavits have declared that they face charges relating to crime against women and two candidates face rape charges. Besides, two candidates are facing murder charge while 18 candidates have declared that attempt to murder under Section 307 of IPC are registered against them.

After examining the affidavits filed by candidates along with their nomination papers, UP election watch Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) said on Tuesday that of the 58 Samajwadi Party candidates 30 or 52 percent have criminal background. Similarly, of the 55 BJP candidates 25 or 52 percent have criminal background and candidates of the BSP and Congress with criminal background, are 39 and 36 percent respectively.

Candidates facing serious criminal changes are 36 percent of Samajwadi Party, 36 percent of BJP and 31 percent of the BSP. Of the total 49 candidates of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), 22 percent have criminal background. Top three candidates facing criminal cases in this phase are Louise Khursheed, wife of former Union minister Salman Khursheed, with 17 cases, Samajwadi Party candidate from Firozabad, Saifurrahman with 12 cases and Jogendra Singh Yadav of Samajwadi Party contesting from Etah Assembly seat is facing 11 cases.

The role of money power is important in elections and it is evident from the fact that as many as 245 or 39 percent candidates in the third phase of Assembly polls are millionaires. The Samajwadi Party is on top with 90 percent of its candidates are millionaires and 87 are in BJP, 78 percent in BSP, and 52 percent in Congress. 37 percent candidates of Aam Aadmi Party are millionaires, who have declared assets and  wealth over Rs 1 crore. Among the top in the richie rich list are SP candidate from Babina, Yashpal Singh Yadav with declared assets of Rs 70 crore. Second in the list is Congress candidate from Kidwainagar Assembly seat in Kanpur, Ajay Kapur who has declared assets worth Rs 69 crore and Congress candidate from Arya nagar in Kanpur, Pramod Kumar with declared assets of Rs 45 crore.

The average wealth of the candidates in the third phase of elections is Rs 2.82 crore, while 248 or 40 percent candidates have also declared their liabilities. Literacy record of candidates is poor as 38 percent candidates have declared that their educational qualification is Class 5 to 12, while 57 percent candidates are graduates or more degrees. Five candidates have declared in their affidavits, that they were illiterates. The average age of 39 percent candidates is between 25 to 40 years while 48 percent are 41 to 60 years and 13 percent 61 years to 80 years. One candidate is 83 years old. In the third phase of elections, 15 percent of the candidates are women.

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