PATNA: Of the 1,066 candidates, who are in the fray during the first phase of the state assembly polls, altogether 319 have criminal antecedents, according to the data released by the Election Commission. Few of them have cases of serious nature like murder, kidnapping and extortion lodged against them.
Gaya district, which has 10 assembly constituencies, tops the list with 49 candidates having criminal antecedents. Of them, 10 are from the Guraru constituency alone. Similarly, 39 contestants in the fray are from Bhojpur district followed by 37 in Rohtas and 23 in Buxar district, respectively.

The remaining 170 candidates are from other districts like Munger, Jamui, Nawada, Patna, Jehanabad, Aurangabad, Lakhisarai and Kaimur. An official of the commission said majority of the constituencies going to the polls in the first phase were hit by Left wing extremism.
“Data for the second and the third phases of elections slated to be held on November 3 and 7 are yet to be released. The process will start after the last date of withdrawal of nomination papers for the two phases,” the official told this newspaper on Thursday.
A recent analysis by the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) and Bihar Election Watch revealed that the outgoing assembly had 136 legislators with criminal antecedents. Moreover, 94 of them had cases of serious nature pending against them.
The present strength of the assembly is 243. Its term will end on November 29.
Additional CEO Baijunath Prasad Singh said every candidate had to fill up form 16 (read affidavit) furnishing details about his/her assets, education qualifications, liabilities, public dues and criminal cases, if any. “The objective behind the provision is to make voters aware of the criminal activities of the candidates in the fray,” he added.
Altogether 71 assembly constituencies spread over 16 districts are going to the polls in the first phase on October 28.

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