Business Line
New Delhi

Political parties continue to give ticket to candidates with serious criminal cases, says an analysis by the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) and National Election Watch.

 Of the total 203 candidates announced so far for the 2014 general elections, 70 are re-contesting and 34 (49 per cent) out of these  had declared  224 criminal cases against themselves in their earlier affidavits filed with the Election Commission (EC).

The highest number was in Shiv Sena (12 out of 14), 13 out of 32 in BJP, eight out of 13 in NCP and one out of six in AIADMK. A total of 20 candidates had declared serious criminal cases against themselves.

 While Kirit Somaiya of the BJP from Mumbai North East Constituency had declared a charge of dacoity against himself, two candidates  — Bhonsle Shrimant Chh. Udyanraje Pratapsinh  of NCP from Satara and Gopinath Munde of BJP from Beed — declared a case related to kidnapping. 

Urging political parties to move toward transparency and disclose the criteria for candidate selection, ADR said it is time they took “a stand against misuse of money power, bribing of voters and distribution of freebies.”

Crorepati MPs

 Among the 70 re-contesting candidates, 51 per cent are crorepatis,  having declared assets of over ₹1 crore. 

Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) has the highest, four out of five, such candidates, followed by nine out of 13 crorepati candidates in NCP, nine out of 14 in Shiv Sena, 13 out of 32 in BJP and one out of six in AIADMK.

 Praful Patel of NCP declared the highest assets among these 70 candidates worth ₹125.46 crore, followed by Harsimrat Kaur Badal of SAD with assets worth ₹60.31 crore and Supriya Sule of NCP with ₹50.45 crore.  

These 70 candidates had contested elections in the past, says the analysis. Out of the 70 candidates analysed, 29 are sitting Lok Sabha MPs.

The EC had said on Wednesday it is planning to make an e-file of the Form 26 affidavits submitted by the candidates.

This affidavit will include information on the criminal antecedents of the candidate, assets and liabilities of the candidate, his or her spouse and dependents, and the candidates’ educational qualifications. The panel had also said that it is ensuring the implementation of the Supreme Court’s verdict barring convicted people from holding any elected position. 

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