Source: 
Meri News
http://www.merinews.com/article/criminal-charges-taint-48-candidates-in-jharkhand/15789652.shtml
Date: 
01.12.2009
City: 
New Delhi

AJSU has 4 candidates out of 12 with serious IPC charges. JMM and CPI (M) (L) (L) follow close behind with 3 candidates each. The district of Ranchi has the distinction of leading the race when it comes to maximum number of criminal charges

ABOUT 36.92 per cent of the candidates contesting in the second phase of the upcoming Jharkhand elections have self declared pending criminal charges. 48 of the 130 candidates have confessed to having criminal charges under oath. 23 of these have been charged with serious offences like murder, attempt to murder, kidnapping, extortion, causing hurt by dangerous weapon, dacoity and even illegal payment related to elections. According to a report by National Election Watch (NEW), all the major parties including AJSU, JMM, CPI (M)(L)(L), BJP, RJD and INC have given tickets to candidates with a self-confessed criminal background.
 
AJSU has 4 candidates out of 12 with serious IPC charges. JMM and CPI (M)(L)(L) follow close behind with 3 candidates each. The district of Ranchi has the distinction of leading the race when it comes to maximum number of criminal charges. Some of the charges include IPC sections 307 – Attempt to Murder, 302- Murder, 364- kidnapping or abducting in order to murder as well as 384- extortion. The 25 year old AJSU candidate Nirmal Mahto has 12 serious IPC charges against him. Masi Charan Munda has 11 serious IPC charges including murder.
 
National Election Watch (NEW) is a nationwide campaign by Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) that works for electoral reforms and for the improvement of governance. The campaign assesses the background information of all contesting candidates in the Lok Sabha and State Assembly elections on the basis of the affidavit of the candidates and their nomination papers. The NGO focuses on covering elections in most of the states with the aim of bringing to light the educational, financial and criminal background of those contesting.
 
Also in the report, 3% of the candidates have declared assets above one crores. Roshan Kumar Surin of INC contesting from Khunti has assets above 27 crores. He is followed by Sudesh Kumar Mahto, Nirbhay Kumar Shahabadi and Loknath Mahto in the crorepati league. When it comes to 6 MLAs who are recontesting elections, the report has found a 616% increase in their assets. The biggest increase has been in the assets of ASJU candidate Sudesh Kumar Mahto who had declared assets worth Rs. 7 lakhs (approx.) in 2004 and is today worth Rs. 1.6 (approx.) crores. The increase is a whopping 2000%.
 
The educational background of these candidates is just as colourful. The gap in the educational qualification of the most educated and the least educated is astounding. The second phase of elections will see MLAs who are doctorates as well as some who barely qualify as literates.
 
The December 2 elections are being awaited with baited breath. After former Chief Minister Madhu Koda was arrested in connection with a corruption case, the state has come under the media scanner. He is under investigation for allegedly possessing assets disproportionate to his income as well as money laundering during his stint as a CM between 2006 and 2008.

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