The Times of India

A substantial 225 (23%) candidates contesting the assembly elections have criminal records. Of these, 141 (14%) face grave criminal charges like murder, kidnapping and crimes against women, according to the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) that analysed the affidavits. The disclosures in the affidavits show that political parties have no qualms about fielding candidates with criminal records. The Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) ranks at the top with 62 (52%) candidates with criminal cases followed by 28 (39%) candidates from TDP.

As many as 34 (30%) candidates fielded by the Congress, 15 (33%) from BJP and 21 (23%) from YSRCP have declared criminal cases in their affidavits. Two candidates, Vemula Veeresham of TRS from Nakrekal constituency and M Chandra Shekar of TDP from Jadcherla constituency have declared cases of murder. 16 candidates have declared cases relating to attempt to murder.

Six candidates have declared cases related to crimes against women. Thandra Kumar of Marxist Communist Party of India (United) from Serilingampally constituency, K Mahinder of Akhil Bharatiya Jana Sangh from Uppal, Muraharikar Prashanth of Rashtriya Lok Dal from Goshamahal, K Naresh Kumar of Shiv Sena from Koratla, Kotha Manohar Reddy of TRS from Maheswaram and Shabbir Hussain of YSRCP from Sirpur fall in the above category. "There are 33 constituencies where at least three candidates have declared criminal cases. Uppal constituency has the maximum number of candidates (seven) with criminal cases," said D Rakesh Reddy, state coordinator of ADR.

Andhra Pradesh Election Watch (APEW) and ADR, organisations working for electoral reforms, have analysed the self-sworn affidavits of 1,000 candidates fielded by political parties in 119 constituencies in the state assembly elections, 2014. As far as the assets are concerned, BJP leads the list of crorepati candidates with 36 (80%) of them worth more than Rs one crore, closely followed by the Congress with 87 (77%) candidates being crorepatis.

TRS comes next with 76 (64%) crorepatis followed by TDP with 45 (63%). YSRCP with 33 (36%) has the least number of crorepati candidates. The average assets per candidate contesting in the assembly elections amount to Rs 2.97 crores. The average value of assets per candidate is Rs 10.08 crores for 113 Congress candidates (Rs 3 crore during 2009), Rs 4.06 crores for 45 BJP candidates (Rs 72 lakh during 2009), Rs 6.44 crores for 119 TRS candidates (Rs 3 crores during 2009), Rs 5.93 crores for 72 TDP candidates (Rs 3.5 crore during 2009) and Rs 1.63 crores for 92 YSRCP candidates. As expected, 494 (49%) candidates analysed have not declared their income tax return details and 40 crorepati candidates figure in this list.

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