Source: 
The Peninsula
http://thepeninsulaqatar.com/india/246935-candidates-mired-in-criminal-cases-more-likely-to-win-polls-report.html
Date: 
30.07.2013
City: 
New Delhi

New Delhi: About 30 percent of Lok Sabha members and 17 percent of Rajya Sabha members have criminal cases pending against them, says a report, noting that the probability of a candidate with a criminal record winning an election is higher than that of one with a clean background doing so.

Shiv Sena members top the list of lawmakers with criminal cases against them, the report, released yesterday, said.

The report, jointly prepared by Association for Democratic Reforms and National Election Watch, is based on affidavits filed by candidates during elections since 2004.

The analysis says that a candidate with a clean record has 12 percent chance of winning an election, while one with a criminal record has a 23 percent chance of success.

A total of 8,790 affidavits filed by MPs and state legislators were analysed.

The report found that 162 (30 percent) of the 543 Lok Sabha members face “criminal cases” and 76 (14 percent) face “serious criminal cases”.

About 40 (17 percent) of the 232 members of the Rajya Sabha have “criminal cases” and 16 (seven percent) have “serious criminal cases” filed against them.

Seventy-five percent of the offending MPs and state legislators elected since 2004 were from the Shiv Sena. Lalu Prasad’s Rashtriya Janata Dal accounted for 46 percent of such lawmakers.

The Congress and Bharatiya Janata Party accounted for 22 percent and 31 percent, respectively, of MPs and state legislators mired in criminal cases.

The independent agencies analysed 62,847 candidates who have contested parliamentary or assembly elections since 2004, of whom 4,181 were repeat candidates.

“Out of 4,181 repeat candidates, 1,072 had a criminal case the first time they contested an election and 788 cases had them the second time also,” said the analysis.

“This goes to show that political parties gave tickets to 74 percent of the candidates with criminal records the second time despite knowing their criminal background,” said Anil Bairwal, national coordinator at National Election Watch.

According to the analysis, Shiromani Akali Dal tops the chart in terms of assets, with the average assets of a candidate being worth Rs60.2m.

The Akali Dal is followed by Telugu Desam Party, whose candidates, on average, had assets worth Rs56.1m.

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