New Delhi

As much as 27 per cent of 70 candidates who have won the Uttarakhand assembly polls have declared criminal cases against themselves, according to poll reforms advocacy group Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR). The ADR said along with the Uttarakhand Election Watch, it had analysed the self-sworn affidavits of all 70 winning candidates.

Out of 70 winning candidates analysed in 2022, 19 (27%) winning candidates have declared criminal cases. Out of 70 MLAs analysed during the Uttarakhand assembly elections in 2017, 22 (31%) MLAs declared criminal cases, the ADR said.

The poll reforms advocacy group further said 10 (14%) winning candidates have declared serious criminal cases against themselves. The ADR said eight (17%) out of 47 winning candidates from the BJP, eight (42%) of the 19 winning candidates from the Congress, one (50%) of the two winning candidates from the BSP and two (100%) Independents have declared criminal cases in their affidavits. About five (11%) out of 47 winning BJP candidates, four (21%) out of 19 winning Congress candidates and one (50%) out of two Independents have declared serious criminal cases, the ADR said.

Out of 70 winning candidates analysed, 58 (83%) are crorepatis. This number was 51 (73%) in 2017. The ADR said 40 (85%) out of 47 from the BJP, 15 (79%) out of 19 from the Congress, both winning candidates from the BSP and one (50%) out of two Independents have declared assets worth more than Rs 1 crore.

The BJP stormed back to power in Uttarakhand after winning 47 of the 70 seats in the assembly polls. According to the ADR criteria, a serious criminal case refers to any offence for which there is a maximum punishment of five years or more, or if it is non-bailable, an electoral offence (for eg IPC 171E or bribery). Offences related to loss to exchequer, assault, murder, kidnap, rape related, mentioned in the Representation of the People Act (Section 8), those under the Prevention of Corruption Act, and crime against women also qualify as serious criminal cases.

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