In Chennai Political parties in Tamil Nadu have fielded 125 candidates facing criminal cases in this month’s assembly polls.

AIADMK has fielded the highest number of such candidates -43 -followed by DMK (24), BJP (19) and PMK (14). DMDK and Congress have put seven and six such leaders, respectively, in the fray.

DMK’s NKKP Raja tops the list of leaders with the most dubious record. Raja, a former handlooms & textiles minister, is contesting the polls from Andhiyur constituency.

He faces six charges ranging from theft, obscene behaviour, abduction and wrongful confinement. He has also been accused of “voluntarily causing harm” to someone by using weapons.

Raja has disclosed the criminal cases against him in an affidavit submitted to the Election Commission (EC).

An analysis of affidavits filed before the panel has revealed that two candidates of AIADMK, two of PMK, one of DMDK, three of BJP and one of BSP also face serious charges.

The analysis was conducted by Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) and its sister organisation, Tamil Nadu Election Watch (TNEW). More than five attempt to murder charges have been levelled against M Muruganandam, BJP’s Nagapattinam candidate.

He is also named in three cases of causing harm to someone by using weapons, two cases related to obscene acts, one each related to dacoity and promoting enmity.

BSP’s Poompuhar candidate faces two robbery charges, whereas AIADMK’s Andipatti candidate has been named in two attempt to murder cases.

“Voters should do due diligence of candidates’ credentials and elect a leader who is not a criminal,” TNEW coordinator Peter Rex Charley said.

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