The Times Of India

Though SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal had accused the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) of giving tickets to a large number of candidates with criminal background in Punjab, data shows SAD has 63% candidates with declared “serious criminal cases” contesting assembly elections.

AAP has given tickets to 16% candidates facing serious criminal cases. The Arvind Kejriwal-led party is contesting polls in Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Goa this time.

The Akali Dal tops the chart of all political parties contesting state assembly polls in five states by fielding 68% candidates with criminal cases and 63% candidates with serious criminal cases. This has come to fore in a study conducted by the National Election Watch and Association of Democratic Reforms based on the self-sworn affidavits filed by the party candidates in all the five states – Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Manipur and Goa.

The SAD is followed by the Akhilesh Yadav-headed Samajwadi Party in Uttar Pradesh which has 56% candidates facing criminal cases and 41% with serious criminal cases. Rashtriya Lok Dal led by Jayant Chaudhary is at third spot as it has distributed tickets to 51% of candidates facing criminal cases and 46% having serious criminal cases registered against them in UP.

Sukhbir, contesting from Jalalabad in Fazilka district, himself has seven cases registered against him, with 10 serious charges, under the Indian Penal Code (IPC). Lok Insaaf Party (LIP) candidate and Atam Nagar MLA in Ludhiana district Simarjeet Singh Bains has the highest number of 15 cases registered against him with 18 serious charges under IPC. The Congress candidate from Bhucho Mandi in Bathinda district comes in second place and is facing a total of four cases but with 11 serious charges under IPC.

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