Deccan Herald
Mansi Singh

Ahead of the 2023 Mizoram Assembly elections, a total of 174 candidates were assessed.

In the democratic process of elections, understanding the background of contesting candidates becomes crucial for informed voting. As Mizoram gears up for polls, a recent analysis by The Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) and Mizoram Election Watch sheds light on the criminal history declarations by candidates across various parties.

This article provides a party-wise breakdown of these declarations, offering insight into the kind of choices the electorate has in the upcoming polls.

Ahead of the 2023 Mizoram Assembly elections, a total of 174 candidates were assessed.

In the previous elections, out of the 209 candidates analysed, 9 which is 4 per cent had declared criminal cases.

Further breaking down the data, it's revealed that out of these candidates with declared criminal cases, 7 candidates which is 4 per cent have declared serious criminal cases against themselves.

The criteria for what constitutes a serious criminal case include offences punishable by five or more years, non-bailable offences, electoral offences, offences causing substantial loss to the exchequer, and heinous crimes such as assault, murder, kidnap, rape, and others.

In comparison, in 2018, only 2 per cent of the candidates had declared serious criminal offences.

Party-wise distribution

National parties: Out of the 67 candidates analysed from national parties, two (which is 3 per cent) have declared criminal cases.

State parties: Among the 40 candidates from state parties, one (which is three per cent) has declared a criminal case.

Registered unrecognized parties: 40 candidates were analysed from this category, with 4 (which is 10 per cent) declaring criminal cases.

Independent candidates: Out of the 27 independent candidates analysed, none have declared any criminal cases against themselves.

The number of those with serious criminal cases remains relatively low, at 4 per cent in both 2023 and 2018.

Analysis of party-wise candidates with self-declared criminal cases

Mizo National Front (MNF)

The MNF had a total of 40 candidates analysed. Out of these, one candidate declared having a criminal case, which amounts to 3 per cent of their total candidates.

Zoram People's Movement (ZPM)

Zoram People's Movement, with the same number of candidates analysed as MNF, had a slightly higher percentage of candidates with declared criminal cases. Out of 40 candidates, four which amounts to 10 per cent of candidates having a criminal background.

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)

The BJP had 23 candidates with two candidates, representing 9 per cent of the total, declared having criminal cases.

Other parties

When it comes to other parties, a total of 71 candidates were analysed. Interestingly, none of the candidates from this category declared having any criminal cases or serious criminal cases.

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