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By Staff Writer

In a reflection of the sorry state of affairs where the choice of politicians in India is concerned, as many as 15 candidates in the recently concluded elections to the Rajya Sabha have pending criminal cases against them.

According to a report by the Association of Democaratic Reforms and National Election Watch, while the election was held for 55 seats across 13 states, affidavits of just 49 seats could be analysed since the details of the seats from Tamil Nadu are not available yet.

Fifteen candidates (i.e.28 per cent) have declared in their affadavits that they have criminal cases pending against them.

Of this, six candidates have serious criminal cases like attempt to murder, wrongful confinement and cases related to cheating and forgery, pending against them.

Interestingly, all the candidates with pending criminal cases have won the RS elections.

Most parties nominated candidates with pending criminal cases.

The candidates against whom the cases are pending are Professor Baghel S P Singh of the Bahujan Samaj Party from Uttar Pradesh.

He has a case of attempt to murder pending against him.

Industrialist and liquor baron Dr Vijay Mallya from Karnataka has been charged with Foreign Exchange Regulation Act and there are cases of cheating and dishonesty cases pending against him.

Gundu Sudha Rani (of the Telugu Desam Party from Andhra Pradesh) has cases related to promoting of enmity between different groups on basis of religion pending against her, while Rashid Masood of the Samajwadi Party from Uttar Pradesh has cases related to the Prevention of Corruption Act pending against him.

Of the major parties, the Indian National Congress nominated three candidates (19 per cent) with pending criminal cases out of the total 16 candidates.

The Bharatiya Janata Party nominated two candidates with criminal charges out of the total 11 (i.e. 17 per cent), while one of the seven candidates nominated by the Bahujan Samaj Party nominated (14 per cent) has a criminal background.

The Nationalist Congress Party nominated two candidates, and both have a criminal background (100 per cent).

Amongst candidates with serious pending cases, one each from the BJP, the Congress, the BSP, the Shiv Sena, the IND, and the TDP have declared that they have pending serious criminal cases against them.

All these candidates have won the election.

Most parties preferred nominating candidates with high assets.

Out of the 54 contesting candidates, 43 were billionaires (79.6 per cent).

Thirty-eight of the 49 of newly elected Rajya Sabha members (77.6 per cent) are billionaires.

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