With a marginal one per cent drop incandidates with criminal cases, the overall choice for citizens from prominentpolitical parties is almost the same as in the last election. In a report released by Association for Democratic Reforms, Action for Good Governance and Networking in India and Mumbai Votes on Friday, it is stated that the percentage has fallen from 50 to 49 per cent.

The report, which is based on self-sworn affidavits of candidates, is an unfinished work of analysis. Of the 4,119 candidates across the state, 2,336 have been analysed. However, the analysis includes candidates from all prominent political parties and all candidates from the city.

The fall does not seem to have evened out despite the number of candidates more than doubling as compared to the previous elections. While the five prominent parties — Congress, BJP, Shiv Sena, NCP and MNS — put up 698 candidates in the previous elections, this time the figure stands at 1,318.

Of the total candidates analysed, 23 per cent have declared of having serious cases against them. In a disturbing trend, the rise of candidates with serious criminal cases in prominent parties saw a jump, though a marginal one of two per cent. From 30 per cent last year, it stood at 32 per cent this year.

The only party that saw a jump in candidates with criminal cases was NCP. From 37 per cent in 2009 it has 43 per cent candidates with criminal cases this time. Party-wise, though, the prize went to Shiv Sena with 61 per cent of their candidates having most criminal cases. That was followed by MNS with 54 per cent, BJP with 53 per cent, NCP with 43 per cent and Congress with 33 per cent.

NCP was also the one to have the most number of candidates with serious criminal charges. Based on these figures, the ADR also called certain areas as "red alert constituencies" that have at least three candidates with criminal cases. In the city, Kalina, Anushakti Nagar and Vandre (East) were among them. These had seven candidates with criminal cases.

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