Of the 719 candidates in fray in the second phase of assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh, 107 (15%) have declared that they are facing criminal cases, according to a joint report by Uttar Pradesh Election Watch and Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR). BSP tops the list with 25 (37%) of its 67 candidates declaring criminal cases against them in their affidavits while filing nomination papers, followed by Samajwadi Party's 21 (41%) of 51 candidates. Sixteen (24%) of the 67 BJP candidates, six (33%) of the 18 Congress candidates and 13 (6 %) of the 206 independent candidates have declared criminal cases against them.

Of the 107 candidates with criminal cases, 66 have serious cases against them, including charges of murder, attempt to murder, kidnapping and crime against women, among others.

A total of 17 (25%) of the 67 BSP candidates, 10 (15%) of the 67 from BJP, 17 (33%) of the 51 SP candidates, six (12%) of the 52 from RLD, four (22%) of the 18 Congress candidates and 12 (6 %) of the 206 independent candidates have declared serious criminal cases against them.

There are six candidates facing murder charges, 15 are accused of attempt to murder and seven have been booked for kidnapping for ransom, etc. Five candidates have declared cases related to assault or using criminal force against woman with the intent to outrage her modesty and rape.

Ali Yusuf Ali, contesting on a BSP ticket from Chamraua (Rampur), tops the list of candidates with criminal background. He faces 14 cases, including serious charges of criminal intimidation, assault or use of criminal force, obstructing public servant from discharging public functions, disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant and illegal payments in connection with an election.

Vishva Dayal of Congress in Rampur's Maniharan constituency, Saharanpur district, has 10 cases against him, including that of assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharging his duty, voluntarily causing hurt to deter a public servant from discharging his duty, among others.

Another Congress candidate from Nawabganj (Bareilly), Mohd Tahir, has nine criminal cases against him, while two BJP candidates — Ashok Kumar Rana, contesting from Dhampur (Bijnor), and Arvind Giri, contesting from Gola Gokrannath (Kheri) — have declared eight cases each in their affidavits.

Nearly 43% (310 of 719) of the candidates have declared their educational qualification as graduates, while 39% (277) of the candidates are class V to class XII pass. There are 11 illiterate candidates. Only 69 (10%) women are in poll fray in the second phase of UP elections.

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