The Supreme Court directions apparently had no impact on the political parties in picking candidates in the first two phases of the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections. According to the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) report, out of the total 584 candidates contesting in Phase II of the UP polls, as many as 147 candidates have criminal cases registered against themselves. Over half of the candidates in Phase II have assets worth Rs 50 lakh to Rs 2 crore, the report shows.

Crime metre

A total of 25 per cent of the candidates in the Uttar Pradesh elections have declared criminal cases against them, shows the ADR report. Out of the 147 candidates who have criminal cases against themselves, 113 have serious criminal cases against them. Serious criminal cases mainly include offences that have a maximum punishment of five years or more and offences that are non-bailable.

Candidates with criminal cases in Phase I

SP fields maximum number of candidates with criminal cases

Candidates with Criminal Cases in Phase I of UP Election

The Samajwadi Party had fielded a maximum of 35 candidates with criminal cases against them, as per the report. It is followed by the Congress which had 23 such candidates. The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had 20 and 18 candidates with criminal backgrounds, respectively. The Aam Admi Party (AAP) had fielded seven candidates having criminal records.

A total of six candidates have cases related to crime against women while one of the candidates is charged with the case of murder against himself.

Wealth of candidates

Nearly 45 per cent (260 out of 584) candidates are crorepatis in Phase II. Nawab Kazim Ali Khan from the Congress who is contesting from Rampur is the richest candidate in Phase II. He has declared a wealth of over Rs 296 crore.

Candidates based on their wealth declaration

Maximum candidates have wealth worth Rs.50 Lakhs to 2 Crores

Candidates based on their wealth declaration

The BJP has gone on to choose only crorepatis for this phase except for one candidate. Similarly, 48 out of 52 candidates of the SP are crorepatis. The BSP has 46 such candidates in the fray, while half of the Congress candidates, too, have declared wealth of over Rs 1 crore. One in three candidates of the AAP also falls under the same category.

On February 13, 2020, the top court had specifically instructed political parties to give reasons for such selection and why other individuals without criminal antecedents could not be selected as candidates. As per these mandatory guidelines, the reasons for such selection have to be with reference to the qualifications, achievements and merit of the candidate concerned.

Congress: Flagbearer of women representation

When it comes to the selection of women candidates, the Congress, like Phase I, yet again tops the chart. In a bid to attract and consolidate women power towards the grand old party, the UP Congress had announced that it would be giving 40 per cent of its tickets to women, The party has fielded a maximum of 20 women candidates in Phase II, shows the report. This is 37 per cent of the total candidates fielded by them in this phase.

Party-wise gender details of candidates

One in three candidates of Congress is Woman

Party wise gender details of candidates

The BJP has given 9 per cent (five out of 48) tickets to women in Phase II of the Assembly elections. The BSP and the AAP have fielded four women candidates each, while the SP went on to field three women. The women's representation in all these parties is less than 10 per cent for phase II. A total of 69 women candidates are in the fray for Phase II. This is nearly 12 per cent of the total candidates.

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