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Date: 
17.03.2021
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The directions of the Supreme Court have had no effect on the political parties in the selection of candidates for the first phase of the Assam Assembly Elections 2021, according to an analysis of the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) along with Assam Election Watch.

“All major parties contesting in the first phase have given tickets to 8-23 per cent candidates who have declared criminal cases against themselves,” ADR, an NGO which works in the area of electoral and political reforms, said in a statement issued on Wednesday.

It observed that the political parties have again followed their old practice of giving tickets to around 16 per cent of candidates with criminal cases.

The Supreme Court, in its directions on February 13, 2020, had specifically instructed political parties to give reasons for such selection and, why other individuals without criminal antecedents could not be selected as candidates.

According to the mandatory guidelines, the reasons for such selection have to be regarding the qualifications, achievements and merits of the candidate concerned.

“Out of 259 candidates analysed, 41 (16 per cent) candidates have declared criminal cases against themselves while 34 (13 per cent) have declared serious criminal cases against themselves,” the statement said.

“Among the major parties, 10 (23 per cent) out of 43 candidates analysed from Indian National Congress (INC), 8(20 per cent) out of 41 candidates analysed from Assam Jatiya Parishad, 3 (eight per cent) out of 39 candidates analysed from BJP and one candidate each from NCP (Nationalist Congress Party), AGP (Asom Gana Parishad) and Socialist Unity Centre of India (Communist) have declared criminal cases against themselves in their affidavits,” it said.

“Among the major parties, 9 (21 per cent) out of 43 candidates analysed from INC, 6 (15 per cent) out of 41 candidates analysed from Assam Jatiya Parishad, 3 (8 per cent) out of 39 candidates analysed from BJP and one candidate each from NCP, AGP and SUCI(C) have declared serious criminal cases against themselves in their affidavits,” it added.

Five candidates have declared cases related to crime against women. Out of them, one candidate has declared cases related to rape (IPC Section-376).

Two candidates have declared cases related to murder (IPC Section-302) against themselves.

Four candidates have declared cases related to the attempt to murder (IPC Section-307) against themselves.

Three (6 per cent) out of the 47 constituencies in the first phase polls are ‘Red Alert’ constituencies.

‘Red Alert’ constituencies are those where three or more contesting candidates have declared criminal cases against themselves.
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