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11.04.2019
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Twenty-seven per cent of the Congress candidates and 19 per cent of the BJP candidates fielded for the first phase of Lok Sabha election, to be held on Thursday, have serious criminal charges registered against them, according to an analysis by Association for Democratic Rights (ADR) India, an advocacy group. The two national parties have fielded 83 candidates each for the first phase of the election.

The Communist Party of India (Marxist) has fielded eight candidates in the first phase, of which three, which comes to around nearly 38 per cent, have serious criminal charges registered against them, said a statement by Association of Democratic Reforms. The candidates have made self declaration about their pending serious criminal charges.

Six candidates of the Nationalist Congress Party are in the fray, of which two, nearly 33 per cent, have serious criminal charges registered against them. The Bahujan Samaj Party has fielded 32 candidates in the first phase of the election. Nineteen per cent face serious criminal charges. The Communist Party of India has fielded eight candidates, of which only one has serious criminal charge registered. Ninety-one Lok Sabha seats across 20 states and Union Territories will go to polls on Thursday.

Supreme Court in its judgment dated September 25th 2018 has given a set of comprehensive directions which the EC, all political parties and each and every candidate has to abide by.

In view of the above, it appears that political parties have not complied with the SC order and the ECI directions in the first phase of General Elections 2019. It is requested that action as deemed fit may kindly be taken. Hope that this non-compliance by political parties will be actively monitored in the subsequent phases of General Elections 2019 by the ECI.

We look forward to your continued support towards improving governance and strengthening democracy in our country.

The Election Commission of India (ECI) on October 10, 2018 shot a letter to all CEOs, giving instructions regarding the publication of criminal antecedents of candidates contesting elections, by candidates themselves and the political parties were laid down. Further, it stated that such declaration is to be published in the prescribed format at least on three different dates from the day following the last date for withdrawal of candidatures and upto two days before the date of poll. Accordingly, for phase I, such period will be 29th March to 9th April, 2019.

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