The Tribune India

Candidates with criminal cases have risen by almost three times in Punjab with the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) fielding the highest number of such nominees.

The Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) and Punjab Election Watch claimed this in a report after analysing the self-sworn affidavits of 1,276 candidates of the total 1,304 in fray.

521 crorepatis, up 4%

107 of them from Congress | 89 SAD | 60 BJP | 16 BSP | 11 SAD (S) | 81 AAP | 16 PLC

A Mere 7% women candidates in the fray

The report was released today by ADR Trustee Jaskirat Singh and Parvinder Singh Kittna and Harpreet Singh of Punjab Election Watch. Of the 1,276 candidates analysed, 315 or 25 per cent have declared criminal cases against them. The figure was 100 or 9 per cent (out of 1,145) in the 2017 elections. Among the 315 candidates, 65 belong to the SAD, 58 AAP, 27 BJP, 16 Congress, four SAD (Sanyukt) and three each BSP and Punjab Lok Congress (PLC).

At least 218 candidates (17 per cent) have cases with serious offences. Of them, 60 belong to the SAD, 27 AAP, 15 BJP, nine Congress, three each SAD (Sanyukt) and BSP and two PLC. Besides, 15 candidates have declared cases related to crime against women, including two of rape. Four candidates have cases related to murder, while 33 have attempt-to-murder charges against them. At least 57 (49%) of 117 constituencies are in the “red alert” category. Such constituencies are those where three or more contestants have criminal cases against themselves. Also, 521 (41%) candidates are crorepatis. In 2017, 428 (37%) of 1,145 candidates were crorepatis.

The role of money power in elections is evident from the fact that all major political parties have fielded wealthy candidates. Of 521 such nominees, 89 belong to the SAD, 107 Congress, 81 AAP, 60 BJP, 16 each BSP and PLC and 11 SAD (Sanyukt).

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