Almost half of the 170 candidates of the July 7 Legislative Council polls for 24 seats are facing criminal cases or have assets running into several crores, a study of their affidavits has revealed. 

At least 74 persons or 44 per cent of the total candidates are facing criminal cases while 77 aspirants or 45 per cent of the total have assets running into several crores, the study by Bihar Watch (BEW) and Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) disclosed. 

The ADR report, a copy of which is with PTI, reveals that of the 74 candidates facing criminal cases, 41 are facing serious charges including those pertaining to murder, attempt to murder, kidnapping, robbery, dacoity and crime against women. 

tops the chart with 10 out of its 18 candidates facing criminal cases while JD(U) is at the second place with six out of its 10 candidates facing such cases. Lalu Prasad's RJD comes third with five out 10 candidates booked for various offences. 

Those who have filed their nominations to contest the Council polls as independent candidates are also not far behind. The report shows that 32 per cent of total 104 such candidates are facing criminal cases. 

Analysing the data, BEW convenor Rajiv Kumar said, "Overall 20 candidates have declared in their affidavits that and attempt to murder cases are pending against them at various stages in the courts. They are spread across various political parties. A few of them have filed their nominations as independent candidates as well.

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