Source: 
The Telegraph
http://www.telegraphindia.com/1110327/jsp/northeast/story_13770465.jsp
Author: 
A staff Reporter
Date: 
26.03.2011
City: 
Guwahati

Guwahati, March 26: Eleven per cent candidates in the first phase of Assembly elections in Assam are facing criminal charges while 15 per cent are crorepatis.

This was observed by the National Election Watch, a poll observer group, after analysing the affidavits of the 331 candidates who will contest the Assembly elections on April 4.

The group revealed that candidates of all the major parties had criminal charges pending against them. This includes 17 per cent candidates of the AIUDF, 14 per cent of the AGP, 10 per cent of the BJP and five per cent of the Congress. It also found that four per cent of the candidates had serious IPC charges like murder and attempt to murder against them.

“This was revealed from the affidavits of the 331 candidates contesting the first phase which is being held in 62 constituencies,” Anil Bairwal, the National Coordinator of National Election Watch, told reporters here today.

He said there has been “an increase in the percentage of criminals (contesting polls) from the last elections in Assam.

” In the 2006 Assembly elections in the state, six per cent of the candidates had criminal charges pending against them and three per cent had serious criminal charges against them.

As regards assets, it revealed that of the 331 candidates, 50 (15 per cent) were crorepatis. Of this, 42 per cent belong to the Congress and more than 18 per cent to the AGP. In the 2006 elections, only 22 of the 251 candidates analysed were crorepatis.

Bairwal said the data was presented in good faith with an intention to inform voters.

The National Election Watch, in association with the Association for Democratic Reforms has been conducting nationwide campaigns.

It aims at electoral reforms and improving democracy and governance in the country.

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