Free Press Journal

Number of candidates with tainted past continue to rise in the Uttar Pradesh assembly election and the sixth phase is no exception with parties fielding a large number of such people in the fray.

Compared to previous phase the number of women candidates has also decreased in the sixth phase. Around 65 per cent of assembly seats in this phase have been declared sensitive due to the presence of candidates with criminal background.

UP Election Watch and Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) has released a report after analyzing the affidavits submitted by 670 of the total 676 candidates in the fray in sixth phase. A total of 57 seats in 10 district would go for polls in the sixth phase of March 3.

Of the 670 candidates scanned by ADR in the sixth phase 182 or 27 per cent have criminal cases lodged against them while serious cases are pending against 23 per cent. Samajwadi party (SP) has fielded 83 per cent 40 out of 48 candidates in this phase that have criminal cases against them while Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) has fielded 44 per cent such candidates. The congress and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) each have fielded 39 per cent candidates with criminal past while only 14 per cent by the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP).

Among the top three candidates with criminal records are BSP candidate from Sahjanwa, Gorakhpur, Sudhir Singh with 26 cases followed by Suheldeo Rajbhar Bhartiya Samaj Party (SBSP) candidate Ashok Chauhan from Khadda, Kushinagar district with 19 cases and Chandrashekhar Ravan from Azad Samaj Party contesting from Gorakhpur against CM Yogi who has 16 criminal cases pending against him. In the sixth phase, two candidates have been facing rape charges while eight have murder cases registered against them.

In terms of money power, the sixth phase is no different from other with 38 per cent crorepati candidates in the fray. SP has fielded 94 per cent, BJP 81, BSP 77 and congress 46 per cent crorepatis in this phase of elections. Among the richest of all the candidates are Vinay Shankar Tiwari of SP from Chullupar, Gorakhpur with assets worth Rs 67 crore followed by BSP’s Rakesh Pandey from Amebkarnagar with Rs 63 crore and Umashankar Singh of same party from Balia with declared asset of Rs 54 crore. A maximum of 57 per cent candidates in this phase have educational qualification of graduate and above.

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