The Indian Express

One of every three candidates contesting the Maharashtra Assembly elections has a criminal case registered against him. According to a report released by NGO Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR), candidates have declared criminal cases against them in 34 per cent of the 2,336 affidavits analysed by them.

Around 23 per cent have been declared serious criminal cases, including cases related to murder, attempt to murder, kidnapping, communal disharmony and crimes against women. Out of 1,318 candidates from the Congress, BJP, MNS, Shiv Sena and NCP, 32 per cent have declared criminal cases this year, as opposed to 30 per cent candidates in 2009 out of the 698 candidates.

The party with the highest number of candidates with criminal cases is the Shiv Sena (61 per cent), followed by MNS (54 per cent), BJP (53 per cent), NCP (43 per cent) and Congress (33 per cent). The party with the most number of candidates with serious criminal cases is the MNS (42 per cent).

As many as 12 candidates have cases related to murder registered against them and 44 candidates have declared cases of attempt to murder. While 42 have declared cases related to crimes against women, 27 among them have declared charges related to assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage modesty.

“Moreover, 156 constituencies have at least three candidates with declared criminal cases, even as Uran, Kalina, Anushakti Nagar and Bandra (East) constituencies have seven such candidates,” the report stated.

An analysis of their assets revealed that 47 per cent of the 2,336 candidates were ‘crorepatis’. Among the five major parties, 73 per cent out of the 1,318 candidates fielded are crorepatis as compared to 52 per cent of the 698 candidates fielded in 2009.

In this election, 236 candidates have declared assets worth over Rs 10 crore, while eight candidates have declared assets more than Rs 100 crore. Mohit Kamboj, a BJP candidate from Dindoshi, is the richest candidate with assets worth Rs 353 crore, followed by Nandkumar Yadavrao Tasgaonkar of Shiv Sena (Rs 11 crore) and Mangal Prabhat Lodha (Rs 198 crore) of BJP.

The party with the highest number of crorepati candidates is the NCP (83 per cent) followed by BJP (81 per cent), Congress (77 per cent), Shiv Sena (71 per cent) and MNS (46 per cent).

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