Source: 
Business Standard
http://www.business-standard.com/article/politics/parties-fielding-tainted-candidates-adr-114030600968_1.html
Date: 
07.03.2014
City: 
New Delhi

Top political parties continued to field candidates who are accused of heinous crimes like murder and kidnapping despite recent calls for cleaning up politics. While six parties have declared 203 candidates, details are available for only 70 candidates, who have already contested elections in the past.

Nationalist  Party emerged as the one with a deadly cocktail of money and muscle, leading the lists of both richest and criminal candidates. 's party topped the list of rich candidates with an average asset base of Rs 17.1 crore led by crorepati MPs  and  and it had the second largest proportion of criminal candidates, according to an analysis by Association of Democratic Reforms (ADR).

Out of 70 candidates analysed by ADR, 34 candidates (49%) had declared in total 224 criminal cases against themselves in their previous election affidavit. While  had the most number of criminal candidates at 13 out of 32 (41%),  and  beat it in percentage terms.

Shiv Sena has 12 out of 14 candidates (86%) with criminal cases, NCP has 8 out of 13 (62%) candidates with criminal cases and  has 1 out of 6 (17%) candidates with criminal cases.

"The current analysis of the candidates fielded by some of the political parties in their 1st list shows that political parties continue to give tickets to candidates with serious criminal cases. The Association for Democratic Reforms recommends that political parties should refrain from giving tickets to candidates with a serious criminal background," ADR said in a release.

Four candidates had declared cases of murder, attempt to murder and related in their previous election affidavits. Bhonsle Shrimant Chh. Udyanraje Pratapsinh (Sitting MP) of NCP from Satara Constituency had declared a charge of murder. Two candidates of Shiv Sena, Eknath Shinde (Sitting MLA, Maharashtra) from Kalyan Constituency and Shivajirao Adhalrao Patil (Sitting MP) from Shirur Constituency had declared a charge of Attempt to Murder. Dhananjay Mahadik of NCP from Kolhapur Constituency had declared a charge related to culpable homicide by causing death of person other than person whose death was intended.

Dr. Kirit Somaiya of BJP from Mumbai North East Constituency had declared a charge of dacoity against himself. Three candidates had declared cases related to kidnapping in their previous election affidavits. Bhonsle Shrimant Chh. Udyanraje Pratapsinh (Sitting MP) of NCP from Satara Constituency and Gopinath Munde of BJP from Beed Constituency declared a case related to kidnapping. Chandrakant Khaire (Sitting MP) of

The average assets of 13 NCP candidates is Rs. 17.10 crores followed by 5 candidates of SAD with average assets of Rs. 16.30 crores, 14 candidates of Shiv Sena with average assets of Rs 2.16 crores, 32 candidates of BJP with average assets of Rs. 1.81 crores and 6 candidates of AIADMK with average assets of Rs. 1.89 crores.

Four out of five candidates (80%) in SAD followed by 9 out of 13 (69%) candidates in NCP, 9 out of 14 (64%) candidates in Shiv Sena, 13 out of 32 (41%) candidates in BJP and 1 out of 6 (17%) candidates in AIADMK have declared total assets worth more than 1 crore.

Praful Patel (Sitting MP) of NCP from Bhandara-Gondiya Constituency has declared the highest assets among the 70 candidates analysed, worth Rs. 125.46 crore followed by Harsimrat Kaur Badal (Sitting MP) of SAD from Bathinda Constituency with assets worth Rs. 60.31 crore and Supriya Sule (Sitting MP) of NCP from Baramati constituency with assets worth Rs. 50.45 crore.

ADR has appealed to the political parties to take a stand against misuse of money power, bribing of voters and distribution of freebies. Further, the political parties should move towards transparency and disclose the criteria for selection of candidates during elections, it said.

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