Udaya Vani

At least 26 per cent of candidates contesting the Goa legislative Assembly elections have criminal cases registered against them and eight per cent have been booked for serious crimes, a report released by an election watchdog revealed on Tuesday. The highest number of candidates with criminal cases are with the Congress, followed by the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP) and BJP, it was stated.

The details are part of a report released by the Goa Election Watch and Association of Democratic Reforms (ADR) on Tuesday.

Of the total 301 candidates contesting the polls, 26 per cent (77) have declared in their affidavits criminal cases pending against them in various courts, of which eight per cent are facing serious criminal offences, the report stated.

At least 35 per cent of Congress candidates have criminal cases against them, followed by the MGP with 23 per cent, BJP with 18 per cent, NCP and TMC with 15 per cent each and AAP with 10 per cent, the ADR said.

The election watchdog has noted that 12 candidates have declared cases related to crime against women, of which one has a case related to rape. Eight candidates have cases of attempt to murder to their name. A total of 301 candidates are in the fray for the state Assembly polls, scheduled to be held on February 14, of which 116 are from national parties, 104 from state parties, 13 from unrecognised parties and 68 are Independents.

At least 156 candidates were contesting from South Goa, while 145 were fighting from the North Goa district, the ADR said.

The BJP has fielded candidates in all the 40 constituencies, while the Congress will contest in 37 and its alliance partner the Goa Forward Party (GFP) will fight in three, it was stated. As per the report, the Trinamool Congress Party (TMC) will fight in 26, NCP in 13, AAP in 39, Shiv Sena in 11, MGP in 13, Goencho Swabhiman party in four, Jai Mahabharat Party in six, Sambhaji Brigade in three and Revolutionary Goans in 38 constituencies.

According to the affidavits filed by the candidates, 187 of them (62 per cent) are crorepatis.

At least 31 per cent candidates have assets worth more than Rs 5 crore, 16 per cent have between Rs 2 crore and Rs 5 crore, 20 per cent between Rs 10 lakh and Rs 50 lakh and 11 per cent have assets worth less than Rs 10 lakh, the ADR revealed.

As per the report, 95 per cent of BJP candidates are crorepatis, followed by 87 per cent of the Congress, 69 per cent of the MGP, 65 per cent of the TMC, 67 per cent of the GFP, 62 per cent of the AAP and 62 per cent of the NCP. The Congress’ Michael Lobo (Calangute) and his wife Delilah (Siolim) are the richest candidates with assets worth Rs 92 crore each, followed by Dr Chandrakant Shetye, an Independent candidate from Bicholim, with Rs 59 crore assets, the report stated.

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