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Date: 
17.03.2021
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Ahead of the Assam Assembly elections, 16 percent of the candidates contesting in the first phase have declared criminal cases against themselves, according to a report by a poll rights group Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR). The Assam Election Watch and ADR have analysed the sworn affidavits of 259 out of the 264 candidates in the first phase.

Out of 259 candidates analysed, 41 candidates (16 percent) have declared criminal cases against themselves and 34 (13 percent) have declared serious criminal cases against themselves, the ADR said. Among the major parties, 10 (23 percent) out of 43 candidates analysed from the Congress, eight (20 percent) out of 41 candidates analysed from the Assam Jatiya Parishad, three (8 percent) out of 39 candidates analysed from the BJP and one candidate each from the NCP, AGP and the SUCI(C) have declared criminal cases against themselves in their affidavits.
Among the major parties, nine (21 percent) out of 43 candidates analysed from the Congress, six (15 percent) out of 41 candidates analysed from the Assam Jatiya Parishad, three (8 percent) out of 39 candidates analysed from the BJP and one candidate each from the NCP, AGP and the SUCI(C) have declared serious criminal cases against themselves in their affidavits. Serious criminal cases are non-bailable offences with over five years of imprisonment.
Five candidates have declared cases related to crime against women. "Out of five candidates, one candidate has declared cases related to rape (IPC Section-376),” the report said. Two candidates have declared cases related to murder (IPC Section-302) against themselves and four candidates have declared cases related to attempt to murder (IPC Section-307) against themselves.
Three (6 percent) out of 47 constituencies are Red alert constituencies. "Red alert constituencies are those where three or more contesting candidates have declared criminal cases against themselves,” the report said. "The directions of the Supreme Court have had no effect on the political parties in the selection of candidates in Phase 1 of the Assam Assembly Elections 2021 as they have again followed their old practice of giving tickets to around 16 percent candidates with criminal cases,” the report said.
On the educational background, the report said 97 candidates (37 percent) have declared their educational qualifications to be between 5th and 12th standard, while 157 candidates (61 percent) have declared having an educational qualification of graduate or above. Four candidates are diploma holders and one candidate is just literate.
The report added that 67 candidates (26 percent) have declared their age to be between 25 and 40 years, while 153 candidates (59 percent) have declared their age to be between 41 and 60 years. "There are 38 (15 percent) candidates who have declared their age to be between 61 and 70 years. One candidate has declared his age 85 years,” the report said.
The report also mentioned the gender details. It said 25 women candidates (10 percent) are contesting in the first phase.
Out of 259 candidates, 101 (39 percent) are crorepatis, the report said. Among the major parties nine (90 percent) out of 10 candidates analysed from the AGP, 31 (72 percent) out of 43 candidates analysed from the Congress, 28 (72 percent) out of 39 candidates analysed from the BJP and 15 (37 percent) out of 41 candidates analysed from the Assam Jatiya Parishad have declared assets valued more than Rs 1 crore. "The average of assets per candidate contesting in the Assam Assembly Elections 2021 Phase I is Rs 1.84 crore,” the report said.
Elections to the 126-member Assam assembly will be held in three phases on March 27, April 1 and April 6.
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