Out of the 1,203 candidates in the fray in the May 16 Assembly elections, 311 have criminal cases pending against them and this includes one independent candidate who has a case of rape charged against him.

According to an analysis of the criminal record, financial status, education and other facts declared by the candidates while filing their nominations for the Assembly polls by the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR), those with criminal cases pending against them constitute 28 per cent of the candidates. Among them, 138 (12) have serious criminal charges, including those for murder, attempt to murder, rape, kidnapping, dacoity and crimes against women, pending against them.

Four face murder charges, 19 candidates face charge of attempt to murder and 11 candidates have declared that they have charges relating to crimes against women.

The CPI(M) has the highest number of candidates with criminal charges against them (72 out of 84), followed by the BJP (42 out of 97), Congress (37 out of 85), SDPI (25 out of 80), CPI (16 out of 25), BDJS (13 out of 36), IUML (6 out of 23) and 43 Independents (43 out of 387).

The CPI(M) has 26 candidates with serious criminal cases, followed by 23 each of the BJP and the Congress.

Among the candidates, 202 have declared assets valued at more than Rs.1 crore. The highest number of crorepatis are from the Congress (43), followed by the CPI(M) (24), BJP and BDJS (18 each), IUML (17), KC(M) (9), AIADMK (2) and 30 Independents.

Among major parties, the average asset per candidate for 85 Congress candidates is Rs.1.83 crore.

The 97 BJP candidates have average asset of Rs.1.03 crore. The 84 CPI(M) candidates have average asset worth Rs.1.51 crore. The average asset of 23 IUML candidates is Rs.4.21 crore, that of the 15 Kerala Congress (M) candidates Rs.3.16 crore, the seven JD(U) candidates Rs.5.25 crore, the five JD(S) candidates Rs.4.59 crore and the 387 Independent candidates Rs..43.87 lakh.

Illiterates as well

As many as 669 (59%) of the candidates have declared their education qualification to be between pass in class 5 and pass in class 12, while 380 (34%) candidates have declared having graduate degree or above.

Twenty-nine of the candidates have declared themselves to be simple literates and seven candidates have declared to be illiterates.