BHOPAL: Nine of the 109 candidates, who will be contesting in the second phase of the Lok Sabha elections in the state, have declared criminal cases against them, found an analysis done by the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) on Tuesday.
Tikamgarh, Damoh, Khajuraho, Satna, Rewa, Hoshangabad and Betul will go to polls on May 6. The report also states that a whopping 50% of the contesting candidates are crorepatis.
Of the nine having criminal cases, two are from the BJP, one each from the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and SP. The other five are from small parties and Independents. Six have declared serious criminal cases against them — ADR has considered those offences with punishment of more than 5 years; crime against women; or electoral offences as serious.
Among the candidates with serious criminal cases is a Samajwadi Party (SP) candidate who is charged under Gangster Act and for fraud, extortion and other serious crimes. In one of the cases, he has also been convicted for six months, says ADR’s analysis.
A BJP candidate, too, has serious criminal cases against him, including cases under section 420 of Indian Penal Code (IPC) and a case under the Prevention of Corruption Act, among others.

“There is a candidate with charges like extortion against him. Our laws provide equal opportunity to everyone for contesting elections, but it is up to the citizens to be aware and elect the right candidates. A lot needs to be done for creating electoral awareness,” said Rolly Shivhare, MP coordinator, ADR.
“Before voting, we should think twice, over its repercussions, what policies can be expected from candidates with serious criminal cases,” she added.

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