The Times of India

BHOPAL: The myth that elections are all about money and muscle power has been demolished with six of the top 10 candidates with criminal history who contested in Madhya Pradesh have lost.

Dr Kalpana Parulekar, who tops the list of 'candidates with criminal records' as per the data of Madhya Pradesh Election Watch (MPEW) and Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) lost her seat in Mahidpur constituency. She received only 7,058 votes.

While 71,096 people voted in favour of BJP's official candidate Bhadursingh Chouhan and 50,462 to Dinesh Jain. Dr Parelukar has 13 criminal cases registered against her. MPEW and ADR had analysed the self-sworn affidavits of candidates from three major parties, INC,BJP and BSP submitted to the Election Commission of India (ECI). At Jabalpur (West) 62,668 people voted for Congress candidate Tarun Bhanot while 61,745 voted for Harenderjeet Singh "Babbu" who fought on BJP's ticket. Both of them in the top-10 list with 10 and 8 cases respectively. Bhanot won by a slender margin of 923 votes.

Rekha Chandan Rai, BSP candidate from Gwalior, received 14,342 votes. She has 10 criminal cases registered against her as per records. BJP candidate Jai Bhan Singh Pawaiya who won the seat polled 74,769 votes.

Congress candidate from Dhar, Balmukund Singh Gautam had polled 53,041 votes compared to Neena Vikram Verma of BJP who got 57,793 votes. Similarly, Congress candidate from Rau constituency, Jitu Patwari defeated his BJP rival Jeetu Jirati by a margin of 18,995 votes. Patwari polled 91,885 votes.

Major political parties contesting in the state including INC, BJP and BSP saw an increase in the number of tainted candidates since the previous elections. A total of 2,583 candidates filed affidavits with the ECI among whom 686 candidates were from the major parties. Out of these 686 candidates, 683 were analysed by ADR. Out of the 683 candidates analysed 206 candidates (30%) have declared criminal cases against them, including 120 who had declared serious criminal cases including charges of murder, attempt to murder, kidnapping, criminal intimidation and crime against women.

Of the candidates fielded, 91 of 228 (40%) had declared criminal cases against them while 61 out of 229 (27%) candidates from BJP and 54 out of 226 (24%) candidates from BSP have declared criminal cases in their affidavits.

Affidavits of Kailash Vijayvargiya, BJP, Uday Prakash Mishra, INC, and Vijay Singh Chouhan, BSP, have not been analyzed due to issues in their affidavits like missing pages, bad scanning etc, informed the members.

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